Buenos Aires Herald
Pope Benedict’s former butler went on trial on Saturday for using his intimate access to the pope’s desk to steal and leak explosive documents in what he said was an attempt to clean up corruption in the Vatican.
The 46-year-old Paolo Gabriele, who served the pope his meals and helped him dress, was being tried along with a Vatican computer expert in the city state’s little-used tribunal, a small, wood-panelled room with a papal emblem on its ceiling.
Gabriele was arrested in May after police found confidential documents in his apartment inside the Vatican, throwing a global media spotlight on an institution battling to defend its reputation from allegations of graft.
A three-judge panel will decide the fate of Gabriele, whom the pope used to call “Paoletto” (little Paul), now described in Vatican documents as “the defendant”.
The self-styled whistle-blower, who says he was trying to expose graft at the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, is charged with aggravated theft for stealing and leaking the pontiff’s personal papers, and could be jailed for four years.
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