Three former Vatican officials are among the five people formally charged by the Vatican on November 20 in connection with the so-called “VatiLeaks” scandal.
Vatican Radio reported that Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, and Msgr. Vallejo’s secretary, Nicola Maio, have all been charged with criminal conspiracy “to divulge information and documents concerning the fundamental interests of the Holy See and the [Vatican City] State.” Vallejo and Chaouqui were members of a special commission set up by Pope Francis to advise him on matters of economic reform within the Vatican; Maio also served that now defunct commission.
The three former employees, along with two Italian journalists, are also charged with criminal misappropriaton and misuse of Vatican documents. The Italian journalists charged in the case are Gianluigi Nuzzi, author of the recently released book Merchants in the Temple: Inside Pope Francis’s Secret Battle Against Corruption in the Vatican, and Emiliano Fittipaldi, author of Avarice: The cards that reveal wealth, scandals and secrets of the church of Francis (currently available only in Italian).
A formal hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, November 24, at 10:30 a.m. in the Vatican Criminal Court. The penalty, should the five be found guilty, could be as much as eight years in prison.