A Vatican stitchup

Apparently the “Vatican,” i.e. the pretend state that is actually just the Catholic church telling everyone what to do, can prosecute people for saying things. Reuters has the details:

Five people, including two Italian reporters, went on trial in the Vatican on Tuesday, to outrage from rights groups, on charges arising from publication of books in which the Holy See was portrayed as mired in mismanagement and corruption.

At the first session, dominated by procedural issues and dubbed “Kafkaesque” by one of the defendants, journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi said they had done nothing wrong and had simply fulfilled their professional duty.

“I am incredulous in finding myself here as a defendant in a country that is not mine,” Fittipaldi told the court, adding that publishing news was protected by the Italian constitution as well as European conventions and universal declarations on human rights.

Calling all journalists: do more reporting on the Vatican aka the Catholic church. Make it hot for the all-male administration of the intrusive self-protective religion. Report all the things.

While the Vatican follows a 19th-century Italian criminal code that is no longer used in Italy, the fundamental approach to criminal trials is similar to the Italian legal system of magistrates and prosecutors. Unlike Italy, the Vatican does not have jury trials.

A criminal law making it illegal to leak documents was introduced in 2013 after another leaks scandal that preceded the resignation of Pope Benedict that year.

That’s unclear. Is the law an Italian law or a Vatican law? If it’s a Vatican law, how can it apply to people who aren’t part of the Vatican? If it’s an Italian law, why is it? Why would Italy be enforcing the Vatican’s desire to keep its crimes and fuckups secret? And why would the Vatican be prosecuting? It must be a Vatican law – but I can’t see how a Vatican law would apply outside the Vatican.

A Vatican prosecutor told the court that the Holy See did not intend to muzzle freedom of the press and that the defendants were bring tried for the way the documents were leaked by the officials and obtained by the journalists.

I’m not at all sure the Vatican aka the Catholic church has any right to have secrets, given its history and the claims it makes on all of us.

Both journalists complained they had been forced to accept court-appointed lawyers and had been given documents needed for their defense only days, or hours, before the trial started.

Fittipaldi told reporters that he had not met his lawyer until the trial was about to start. The court ruled that a senior Vatican judge would have to decide if outside lawyers could represent the two but that judge was out of Rome.

How very like the Catholic church. The church and the Mafia are basically the same institution.

The human rights watchdog, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), urged the Vatican on Monday to withdraw the charges.

“Journalists must be free to report on issues of public interests and to protect their confidential sources,” the OSCE’s representative on freedom of the media, Dunham Mijatovic, said.

“I call on the authorities not to proceed with the charges and protect journalists’ rights in accordance with OSCE commitments,” she said.

The whole thing is a complete outrage. I look forward to getting home so that I can be all over it like a bad rash.

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