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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The latest about the trial

Last evening, the Director of the Holy See Press Centre, Father Federico Lombardi, SJ gave accredited journalists the following information regarding the proceedings currently under way in the Vatican concerning the divulging of embargoed news and documents.

Today, Monday 16 May, beginning at approximately 3:30pm, the most recent session of the proceedings currently in process regarding the publication of embargoed news and documents began in the Vatican City State's Tribunal Hall.  In addition to the Judicial college (composed of Professors Giuseppe Dalla Torre, Piero Antonio Bonnet, Paolo Papanti-Pelletier and Venerando Marano) and the Promotors of Justice (Professors Gian Piero Milano and Roberto Zannotti), the accused: Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui and Nicola Maio were in attendance, while the accused Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi were absent but represented by their respective lawyers.  All five of the lawyers for the defendants were in attendance: Emanuela Bellardini, Laura Sgrò, Rita Claudia Baffioni, Lucia Teresa Musso and Roberto Palombi.

The session was dedicated to continuing the hearing of testimonies.  Since despite renewed invitations to be present, witnesses Mario Benotti and Paolo Mondani did not appear, the President asked the lawyer for Mister Balda and the Promotors of Justice if they still insisted on requiring these witnesses to appear.  The response was to renounce their testimony for reasons of procedural economy.

Four other witnesses were then called: Mister Fabio Schiaffi, previously a member of the Protocol team at the Prefecture for Economic Affairs, who was called by the Promotors of Justice; Professor Lucia Ercoli, a Health Official with the Vatican City State and Monsignor Vittorio Trani, Chaplain of the Regina Coeli Prison, who were called in defence of Doctor Chaouqui; and Mister Gianluca Gauzzi Broccoletti, Commissioner of the Vatican City State's Armed Guard, who presented a forensic analysis of computers which were seized during the investigation at the request of the Promotors of Justice.  The witnesses responded to questions posed by the Promotors of Justice, the Lawyers and the Judges.

Following the interrogation of each of the first three witnesses, the respective transcripts were read aloud and approved.  Since the deposition of the witness, Mister Gauzzi was prolonged and would require additional time, the President of the Tribunal suspended the audience at 7:15pm, ordering that the session should continue this morning at 11:00am in order that further testimony may be gathered.

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