Vatican judge orders trial for Pope's butler, 2nd layman in theft case

Vatican judge orders trial for Pope's butler, 2nd layman in theft case

PanARMENIAN.Net - A Vatican judge on Monday, August 13 ordered the pope's butler and a fellow lay employee to stand trial in the scandal of pilfered documents from Pope Benedict XVI's private apartment.

The indictment accused Paolo Gabriele, the butler under arrest at the Vatican since May, of grand theft.

While the Vatican had insisted throughout the investigation that Gabriele was the only person under investigation, the indictment also orders trial for Claudio Sciarpelletti. He is a layman in the Secretariat of State office and is charged with aiding and abetting Gabriele.

The scandal has embarrassed the Vatican, exposing infighting at high church levels, primarily involving Italian prelates.

The Vatican has promised a public trial. No date was immediately announced, but officials said it would be no earlier than late September. The Vatican tribunal returns from summer recess on Sept. 20.

Judge Piero Antonio Bonnet ruled that there was no evidence to indict Sciarpelletti a computer expert in the secretary of state's office who knows Gabriele on a charge of revealing secrets and insufficient evidence for a charge of grand theft.

There had been widespread speculation about the possibility of a mole in the secretary of state's office since some of the leaked documents seemed aimed at casting doubt at Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's ability to be the Vatican's No. 2 as secretary of state, according to AP.

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