8:36 a.m. CDT, September 29, 2012
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Pope Benedict’s butler, accused of using his access to the pope to steal papers that he thought would expose Vatican corruption, suffered a blow on the first day of his trial when judges refused to admit evidence from the Church’s own investigation.
Gabriele’ s arrest in May, after police found confidential documents in his apartment inside the Vatican, not only threw a spotlight on allegations of malpractice but also pointed to a power struggle at the highest levels of the Church.
The 46-year-old Paolo Gabriele looked pale at his first public appearance since May, smiling as he chatted with his lawyer but often staring straight into space during a hearing that lasted just under two and a half hours.
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