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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Holy See Press Office Communique

Vatican City, 3 November 2015 (VIS) – Early yesterday afternoon, 2 November, the Holy See Press Office issued the following communique:

“As part of criminal investigations by the Vatican Gendarmerie that have been underway for several months, involving the removal and dissemination of news and confidential documents, last Saturday and Sunday two individuals were called in for questioning on the basis of the evidence gathered.

The individuals are an ecclesiastic, Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, who in the past were respectively secretary and member of COSEA (Commission charged to study and address the organisation of Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See, established by the Pope in July 2013 and subsequently dissolved after the completion of its mandate).

Following the results of the interrogation the two people were held in detention in view of the continuing investigation. Today the Office of the Promoter of Justice, Professor Advocate Gian Piero Milano, Promoter of Justice, and Professor Roberto Zannotti, Assistant Promoter of Justice, has validated the arrest of the above individuals, but they released Dr. Chaouqui, against whom there were no precautionary requirements and also due to the fact that she cooperated with the investigation.

The position of Monsignor Vallejo Balda remains under consideration by the Office of the Promoter of Justice.

It should be remembered that disclosure of information and confidential documents is an offence under Law no. IX of the Vatican City State (13 July 2013) Article 10 (art. 116 bis C.P. ).

As for the books announced for publication in the the next few days, let it be clearly stated at this time, as in the past, that such actions are a serious betrayal of trust granted by the Pope and with regard to the authors, an operation intended to take advantage of a grave offence, the unlawful delivery of confidential documents. The legal implications and possible penalties currently being studied by the Office of the Promoter of Justice with a view to possible further measures involving international cooperation. if necessary. Publications of this kind do not contribute in any way to establish clarity and truth, but rather to create confusion and partial and tendentious interpretations. We must certainly avoid the mistake of thinking that this is a way to help the mission of the Pope”.

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