Catholic World News

Vatileaks witness says Chaouqui admitted leaking documents

May 25, 2016

In a dramatic development in the "Vatileaks II" trial, a Vatican tribunal heard a witness testify on May 25 that Francesca Chaouqui, a prominent defendant, had admitted under questioning that she had leaked confidential documents. 

Chaouqui, who was a consultant to a papal commission on Vatican financial affairs, has subsequently insisted that she was not involved in leaking the documents. Msgr. Angel Vallejo Balda, who has admitted leaking the confidential material, claims that he did so under pressure from Chaouqui.

Stefano DeSantis, an officer of the Vatican gendamerie, told the tribunal that when she was originally questioned, Chaouqui confessed her involvement. "We never assumed that she gave the documents; she admitted to it," he testified.

The court also heard testimony that Chaouqui had advised Msgr. Vallejo to use the "WhatsApp" messaging system for communication, so that their exchanges could not be tracked. As investigators tightened their focus on the defendants, Chaoqui deleted that app from her cell phone. But police were able to track their exchanges, using Msgr. Vallejo's cell phone. 

Last week the tribunal heard testimony that Chaouqui's husband had set up the email server that from which confidential documents were obtained.



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