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Vatican Arrests 2 Suspected of Leaking Documents

FILE - Pope Francis established a commission to study economic reform at the Vatican. Two of its members have been arrested, the Vatican acknowledged.

The Vatican arrested a Spanish priest and a laywoman suspected of stealing confidential documents and leaking them to the media, the Holy See acknowledged Monday.

The two, who served on a special commission established by Pope Francis to study economic reform of the Vatican, were arrested and interrogated over the weekend, according to a statement. They were identified as Spanish priest Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and laywoman Francesca Chaouqui.

The laywoman, was released Monday after she agreed to cooperate with the probe.

French news agency AFP noted the incident is the Vatican’s second leak scandal in three years. The butler to Pope Benedict XVI, Paolo Gabriele, was convicted in 2012 of stealing the now-emeritus pontiff’s private papers and leaking them to a journalist.

Reuters reported books by two Italian authors, containing new evidence on past Vatican scandals, are scheduled for release this week.

Some material for this report came from AFP, the Associated Press and Reuters.