Ciferri told Vatican prosecutors in documents sent to Diddi’s phone that she told Perlasca what to write in his testimony, and that she in turn was following Chaouqui’s instructions. Ciferri offered ample evidence of her claims in the form of text messages and audio recordings. She said Perlasca did not know that Chaouqui was behind the instructions.
Following the instructions, Perlasca told the judges on Wednesday, he invited Becciu for dinner at a restaurant in Rome where he secretly recorded the cardinal while asking him questions about the trial case. Perlasca allegedly handed over the recording and transcript of the conversation to Vatican prosecutors.
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Perlasca testified that he had received 15 messages from Chaouqui over several months beginning in August 2020, in which, he claimed, she tried to intimidate him by “claiming to be well acquainted with the Vatican prosecutors, the gendarmes and others.”
“I forgive you Perlasca, but you owe me a favor,” Chaouqui wrote in a message to the monsignor, according to his testimony. “Don’t block me or you will appear on the newspapers.”
Perlasca said he kept Chaouqui “at arm’s length as much as possible.”
Diddi said he had interrogated Perlasca without any knowledge about his conversations with Chaouqui. Diddi pushed back against the news report, which suggested that the Vatican prosecutors were behind Chaouqui’s messages to Perlasca, designed to move the investigations forward.
“I didn’t do it,” Diddi said, “do whatever you want, you can even seize my phone if you want.” He also said that his office intends to lead an investigation into the matter “to avoid any other attempts at misdirection.”
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This article originally appeared on ReligionNews.com.