Lifestyle & Belief

Vatileaks: Pope's former butler goes on trial (UPDATE)


Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves after celebrating the mass in memory of John Paul II on the 5th anniversary of his death in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on March 29, 2010.The Holy father, under increasing fire for the Roman Catholic Church's handling of paedophile priests, urged Christians not to be intimidated by idle 'chatter'.


Filippo Monteforte

Paolo Gabriele, the former butler of Pope Benedict the XVI, went on trial today over the theft of papers exposing alleged corruption in the Vatican, and the Vatican judges presiding over the trial have thrown out key evidence requested to be included by Gabriele's lawyers.

The former butler's attorneys requested that the evidence gathered during the cardinals' inquiry into the "Vatileaks" scandal be included in the trial, BBC News reported. Judges, however, said that only Vatican police and prosecutor's evidence would be considered. 

Gabriele has admitted to leaking confidential Vatican memos to the Italian media, telling authorities his ail was to help the Pope correct the “evils” of the Catholic Church, Agence France Presse reported. 

More from GlobalPost: 'VatiLeaks': Paolo Gabriele, Pope's ex-butler, to stand trial for leaking documents

The court also decided Saturday to try Paolo Gabriele separately from his co-defendant, Vatican computer expert Claudio Sciarpelletti, Sky News reported.

However as the BBC reported, a guilty plea has not been entered. The 46-year-old faces up to four years in prison if convicted of aggravated theft, but could be pardoned by the Pope.

He is standing behind closed doors in Vatican City, along with a Vatican technician Claudio Sciarpelletti, who is accused of aiding and abetting the alleged theft.

More from GlobalPost: Pope's butler awaiting Vatileaks charge from home

The documents that were leaked include a check for 100,000 euros made out to the Pope from a Catholic university, a 1581 Italian translation of Virgil's classic poem Aeneid, and documents and memos that detailed allegations of corruption, mismanagement and internal conflicts in the Vatican.

The trial will resume Tuesday.