Clergyman Admits He Gave Classified Vatican Documents to Journalists

Spanish Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda, who is on trial for disclosing classified church documents, admitted that he passed information on to journalists, but suggested he was coerced into doing so. He provided access to Vatican documents and records by handing over 87 passwords. The Monsignor says that he was led to believe that the journalists worked for the Italian secret service.

032416-cronaca-clergymanThe testimony came shortly after it emerged that Balda was recently thrown back into a Vatican jail after he was discovered using a mobile phone while under house arrest. The other defendants are not in jail or under house arrest. Reports suggested the phone was either smuggled to him in a hollowed-out religious book or delivered to him by a sympathetic friend who hid it inside a cake. A Vatican spokesman confirmed that Balda had “violated a ban on communicating with the outside world” which was a condition of his house arrest.

The classified documents at the heart of the “Vatileaks” case were allegedly used by the journalists who have been charged, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, to form the basis of two embarrassing exposés on alleged corruption and the mismanagement of tens of millions of euros of Vatican funds.

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