Vatican criticised by OSCE on Vatileaks investigation

Vatican charges two Italian journalists with crime.

The representative for freedom of the media at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has called on the Vatican to withdraw its criminal accusations against two Italian journalists Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi for publishing information allegedly from secret Vatican documents.

The two journalists have been called on to appear before a court in the Vatican – a separate state – on 24 November on criminal charges relating to the leaking of documents from the Vatican which the Holy See claims are of fundamental importance to its interests.

In a document released in Vienna the OSCE representative Dunja Mijatovic has pointed out that the journalists are entitled to publish information in the public interest and to protect their sources of information.

The information is contained in two recently published books Avarice by Fittipaldi and Merchants in the Temple by Nuzzi which accuse a number of Vatican officials of corruption. Nuzzi is not new to Vatican leaks and wrote a book published a couple of year ago titled His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI, based on the stolen confidential correspondence of the previous pope, Benedict XVI and his personal secretary, also about corruption and mismanagement within the Vatican. Pope Benedict’s butler is thought to have leaked these documents.

The Vatican has brought criminal charges against the two Italian journalists and three of its employees, Monsignor Vallejo Balda, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, both of whom were on the commission to advise Pope Francis on economic reform, as well as Balda's secretary, Nicola Maio.

The investigation has the support of Pope Francis who openly called the release of the secret documents “a crime”. Should the five be found guilty they could face up to eight years in prison. Balda is already being held in the Vatican prison.

Photo. Emiliano Fittipaldi left