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Vatican may take action against 'Vatileaks' books

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Vatican may take action against 'Vatileaks' books
The Vatican has denounced the publication this week of two books by Italian authors, believed to be based on leaks from hackers. Photo: Filippo Monteforte
15:33 CET+01:00
The Vatican has denounced the publication this week of two books by Italian authors, believed to be based on leaks from hackers releasing information regarding the famously murky world of its finances.

The Vatican may take legal action against the books written by Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi in what it says were “the fruit of a serious betrayal of the trust given by the pope and, as regards the authors, of an operation to gain advantage from the gravely illegal act of obtaining confidential documentation,” Ansa cited the Holy See as saying in a statement.

The two books – ‘Merchants in the Temple’ by Nuzzi and ‘Avarice’ by Fittipaldi – are due to be released on Wednesday.

Nuzzi was also embroiled in the 2012 'Vatileaks' scandal, as his book, ‘His Holiness’, was based on leaked documents he received from Paolo Gabriele, the former butler of Pope Benedict.

The leaks revealed fierce infighting in the highest echelons of the Catholic Church and allegations of serious fraud in the running of the city state.

The Vatican said on Monday that a Spanish prelate had been arrested for allegedly stealing and leaking classified documents.

Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, who served on a special commission set up by Pope Francis to advise him on economic reform within the Vatican, was arrested as part of an investigation into the "misappropriation and disclosure of classified documents and information".

The arrest followed Italian media reports at the weekend that Vatican police were investigating the attempted theft of a laptop belonging to Libero Milone, the head of the city state's new finance office.

Balda was hauled in for questioning on Saturday along with a second member of the commission, Francesca Chaouquil, after a probe lasting several months, a Vatican statement said.

Both were arrested but Chaouqui was released by Vatican prosecutor Roberto Zannotti on Monday because she agreed to collaborate with investigators and was not considered a flight risk.

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