New York - Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, a Moroccan-Italian public relations specialist, was arrested in Italy over the weekend and accused of “serious treachery” for allegedly leaking confidential Vatican documents to Italian journalists.
New York – Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, a Moroccan-Italian public relations specialist, was arrested in Italy over the weekend and accused of “serious treachery” for allegedly leaking confidential Vatican documents to Italian journalists.
Chaouqui, a former member of the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See (COSEA) was arrested along with Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, secretary of the same organization, the Vatican press office said on Monday.
Chaouqui, 33, and Vallejo Balda, 54, are being investigated for “the removal and dissemination of news and confidential documents”, which is considered “a serious betrayal of trust granted by the Pope”, the Vatican press office stressed.
According to several media sources, the arrest of the Vatican officials is related to the publication of two books – “Avarice: Documents Revealing Wealth, Scandals and Secrets of Francis’ Church” by Emiliano Fittipaldi and “Merchants in the Temple” by Guianluizi Nuzzi – which will be allegedly released in the next few days.
“Publications of this kind do not contribute in any way to establishing clarity and truth, but rather create confusion and partial and tendentious interpretations,” the Vatican statement said condemning the books.
“We must absolutely avoid the mistake of thinking that this is a way to help the mission of the pope,” the same source added.
The Moroccan-Italian has been in the eye of the storm in previous controversies, mainly for her direct connection with the journalists behind the “VatiLeaks” scandal in which private Vatican documents were published in 2012.
According to the same source, the Moroccan-Italian was released on Monday due to her cooperation with investigators.
In accordance with the Vatican City State laws, Leaking private documents can be punished with up to two years in jail or up to a €5,000 fine.
Francesca has been also criticized for her sexy and modern style, her uncensored use of social media, for lashing out at Vatican officials, as well as the release of implied-nudity photos with a man.