Catholic World News

Lawyers ask tribunal to acquit top 'Vatileaks II' defendants

July 06, 2016

Lawyers for the most prominent defendants in the "Vatileaks II" trial urged the court to acquit their clients, or at least give them minimum sentences, in final statements on July 5.

Laura Soro, representing Francesca Chaouqui-- who was described by prosecutors as the "instigator" of the massive leak of confidential documents-- called for acquittal, saying that there was no conclusive evidence to convict her client. "Francesca Chaouqui isn't likeable," her lawyer said, acknowledging the strongly negative peception of her client. "But you can't convict her just because she's unlikeable, unpleasant, insufferable, arrogant, and presumptuous."

In a separate statement, Emanuela Bellardini, the lawyer for Msgr. Lucio Vallejo Balda, asked the Vatican tribunal to acquit her client for lack of compelling evidence or, if he is found guilty, to impose the minimum sentence in light of "mitigating factors." Msgr. Vallejo Balda has admitted that he made confidential documents available to reporter, but said that he did so under heavy pressure from Chaouqui. 



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