Pope’s Ex-Butler Paolo Gabriele On Trial For Theft

Via BBC News:

Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler has entered no plea at the start of his trial in the Vatican on charges of aggravated theft.

Paolo Gabriele, 46, admitted earlier to leaking confidential documents to expose “evil and corruption”.

“Seeing evil and corruption everywhere in the Church… I was sure that a shock, even a media one, would have been healthy to bring the Church back on the right track”, he was quoted as saying in June.

The court threw out some of the more sensitive evidence gathered in the course of the investigation.

Saturday’s session of the court dealt with procedural issues and the trial was adjourned until Tuesday.

While technically Mr Gabriele faces up to four years in prison if found guilty, he could be pardoned by the Pope.

Pope Benedict said after his former butler’s arrest that the news had “brought sadness in my heart”.

On Saturday, the court ruled that the results of an investigation carried out by cardinals for the Pope would not be admitted as trial evidence, Reuters news agency reports.

The trial will be based only on an investigation by a Vatican prosecutor and Vatican police.

The chief judge said the court hoped to reach a verdict by the end of next week.

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