Pope’s Former Butler on Trial In Theft of Personal Papers
Source: New York Times
By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO
Published: September 29, 2012
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler, Paolo Gabriele, went on trial on Saturday on charges of stealing the pope’s confidential papers and leaking them to the press, an unprecedented security breach that set off an embarrassingly public airing of back-room intrigue and allegations of corruption at an institution known for its secrecy ...
The morning was taken up with legal formalities, and the civil court — formed by a panel of three judges — granted motions to strike some of the evidence gathered against Mr. Gabriele and to split off the trial of a co-defendant, a Vatican computer expert charged with aiding and abetting.
A spokesman for the Vatican, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the atmosphere in the courtroom was “serene.” TV cameras and recording equipment were not admitted, and a pool of eight reporters allowed inside briefed other journalists after the hearing.
Mr. Gabriele, who has admitted taking the documents, faces up to four years in prison if he is convicted of aggravated theft. He is scheduled to take the stand at a hearing on Tuesday. Despite his admission of guilt, the trial must proceed because under Vatican law, there is no plea bargaining, and judges must independently verify the facts of a case ...