Priest On Trial For VatiLeaks 2 Leaves Prison, Granted House Arrest

Priest On Trial For VatiLeaks 2 Leaves Prison, Granted House Arrest

By Eseme MacDonald | Associate Editor on December 24, 2015
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Pope Francis
Pope Francis delivers a speech during a meeting with young people last month in Cagliari, Italy.

The Vatican on Wednesday, December 23, 2015 said the Spanish priest, Monsignor Lucio Balda, who was arrested in November over the VatiLeaks 2 affair, has been released from prison and placed under house arrest.

Balda is on trial along with two other alleged leakers, his aide Nicola Maio and PR consultant Francesca Chaouqui for revealing Vatican financial scandals to two journalists, Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi.

The 54-year-old prelate, who sat on a now-disbanded church reform committee with Chaouqui, left his cell on Tuesday and was granted accommodation within Vatican walls, Holy See spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi said.

The trial was suspended in December, after the court agreed to a request from Chaouqui’s lawyer to have an independent expert review the data prized from defendants’ mobile phones and computers during the investigations.

The review was set to start on Jan. 11 and due to be concluded by Feb 20, and that trial hearings could resume only after that date.

The Balda scandal has been dubbed VatiLeaks 2 in connection to the first VatiLeaks case, triggered in 2012 by another Nuzzi book that was also based on other leaked Vatican documents.

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