Vallejo 'leaked docs to get his freedom'

Vatileaks 2 defendant says Chaouqui 'had information on him'

(ANSA) - Vatican City, March 15 - Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda testified during the so-called Vatileaks 2 trial Tuesday that he leaked confidential Vatican documents to a couple of investigative journalists to "pay for his freedom". The defendant alleged co-defendant Francesca Chaouqui "bragged she had information about my private life, my assets, my properties, and even my tax problems," he said according to trial deposition documents". Vallejo added he never told anyone about his plans to leak the documents. "I didn't even tell Chaouqui because I didn't trust her - it was a way to pay for my freedom," Vallejo said. "I hadn't thought of it before meeting the journalists. Then I did it".
    Vallejo, PR expert Chaouqui, and Balda's former assistant Nicola Maio stand accused in a Vatican court of criminal association and conspiracy to leak classified documents.
    Emiliano Fittipaldi, author of the bestselling book Avarice documenting lavish spending by clergymen is on trial on charges of spreading classified information along with Gianluigi Nuzzi, author of another controversial book, the Way of the Cross, documenting alleged Vatican waste and mismanagement.
    Today's testimony appears to contradict previous statements by Balda that he gave Nuzzi a password to a Vatican archive under pressure from Chaouqui, while the latter puts all the blame for leaking the documents on the prelate.