Pope’s Butler to Go on Trial

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Paolo Gabriele, a butler of Pope Benedict XVI suspected of stealing the Pontiff’s documents, will go on trial, a Vatican spokesman said on Monday.

Paolo Gabriele, a butler of Pope Benedict XVI suspected of stealing the Pontiff’s documents, will go on trial, a Vatican spokesman said on Monday.

 

Gabriele, 46, was arrested on May 23 on charges of stealing documents from the Pope’s suite. Another suspect in the case is computer expert Claudio Sciarpelletti, a lay employee in the Secretariat of State office, who was also arrested in May. He is charged with aiding Gabriele.

 

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said that along with the Pontiff’s documents, Gabriele was also in possession of valuables, such as a check for 100,000 euro made out to the Pope, a golden nugget and a rare book.

 

Lombardi said the case is still being investigated. He faces up to six years in prison.

 

The butler, an influental member of the Pope’s inner circle, was arrested during an investigation into the leak of papal documents into Italian media.

 

Gabriele was held in his Vatican apartment, where he lived with his wife and three children. A search revealed several boxes with confidential documents, including the Pope’s private letters, and copying equipment.

 

The documents have been published or cited in the Italian media, creating problems for the Holy See.

 

It was earlier reported that Gabriele could face up to 30 years in prison for leaking the documents, an offense that might be equated to undermining the Vatican’s state security.

 

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