Pope grants freedom to jailed prelate in leaks scandal

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FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2015 file photo, from left, Italian journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, public relations expert Francesca Chaouqui and Monsignor Angelo Lucio Vallejo Balda sit during their trial inside the Vatican. Pope Francis has freed a Vatican monsignor convicted of leaking confidential documents to journalists, granting him a Christmas-time clemency and ending an embrarrassing episode for the Holy See. The Vatican said late Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016 that Francis had granted "conditional freedom" to Spanish Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda. Fired from his job as a high-ranking Vatican financial official, Vallejo now falls under the authority of his local bishop in Astorga, Spain. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

FILE - On this Nov. 24, 2015 file photograph, from left, Italian journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, public relations professional Francesca Chaouqui and Monsignor Angelo Lucio Vallejo Balda sit throughout their trial contained in the Vatican. Pope Francis has freed a Vatican monsignor convicted of leaking confidential paperwork to journalists, granting him a Christmas-time clemency and ending an embrarrassing episode for the Holy See. The Vatican stated late Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016 that Francis had granted "conditional freedom" to Spanish Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda. Fired from his job as a high-ranking Vatican monetary official, Vallejo now falls underneath the authority of his native bishop in Astorga, Spain. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photograph by way of AP)  (The Related Press)

Pope Francis has freed a Vatican monsignor convicted of leaking confidential paperwork to journalists, granting him a Christmas-time clemency and ending an embrarrassing episode for the Holy See.

The Vatican stated late Tuesday that Francis had granted "conditional freedom" to Spanish Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda. Fired from his job as a high-ranking Vatican monetary official, Vallejo now falls underneath the authority of his native bishop in Astorga, Spain.

Earlier this yr, a Vatican courtroom convicted Vallejo of conspiring to move paperwork onto the journalists and sentenced him to 18 months in jail.

The Vatican stated the pope ordered the clemency as a result of Vallejo had already served half his sentence. It harassed that the conviction and the sentence stay on the books however says Vallejo can take pleasure in conditional freedom efficient instantly.

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