CPJ calls on Vatican to drop charges against two Italian journalists

New York, November 23, 2015–The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Vatican to drop charges against Italian journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi. The journalists are due to face a trial Tuesday over claims they pressured a source to “obtain and publish confidential information” in their respective books alleging corruption, according to a statement by the Vatican.

“We call on the Vatican to drop all charges against Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “Journalists should be allowed to carry out their role as watchdog and investigate alleged wrongdoing without fear of repercussions.”

Nuzzi and Fittipaldi, who are on trial alongside three former Vatican officials, face up to eight years in prison if convicted, according to reports. Nuzzi’s book, Merchants in the Temple, and Fittipaldi’s book, Avarice, both published this month, claim financial mismanagement and corruption in the Vatican, according to press reports. The books are based on leaked documents, reports said. Pope Francis approved a law criminalizing the leaking of privileged information in July 2013, according to The Associated Press.