'Vatileaks' convict begins serving 18-month sentence
August 29, 2016
Msgr. Lucio Vallejo Balda, the former Vatican official who was convicted in the "Vatileaks II" trial, has been taken into custody to begin serving an 18-month prison sentence.
Msgr. Vallejo Balda, who had admitted passing confidential Vatican documents to Italian journalists, was convicted by a Vatican tribunal on July 7. The court's sentence took effect on August 29.
Francesca Chaouqui, who was also found guilty of conspiracy in the Vatican trial, was given a suspended sentence and will not serve prison time. Three other defendants were cleared of charges.
Msgr. Vallejo Balda is being detained-- at least for now-- in a Vatican holding cell. Vatican officials could make arrangements with Italian authorities to transfer him to an Italian jail. His sentence could be shortened, of course, by a pardon from Pope Francis.
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