Vatican: Pope Benedict XVI’ butler Paolo
Gabriele, suspected of stealing the pontiff’s documents, will go
on trial, said a Vatican spokesperson Monday.
Gabriele, 46, was arrested May 23 on charges of stealing documents
from the Pope’s suite.
The butler, an influential member of the Pope’s inner circle, was
arrested during an investigation into the leak of papal documents
into Italian media.
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 spokesperson Federico Lombardi said that along with the
Pontiff’s documents, Gabriele was also in possession of valuables,
such as a cheque for 100,000 euros (about $123,500) made out to
the Pope, a golden nugget and a rare book.
Lombardi said the case is still being investigated and the man
faces up to six years in prison.
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
The documents have been published or cited in the Italian media,
creating problems for the Holy See or, the episcopal jurisdiction
of the Catholic church in Rome.
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.