Pope Butler Scandal: Paolo Gabriele Assistant of Pope Benedict XVI Indicted by Vatican judge in “Vatileaks” Scandal
Aug 13, 2012 05:12 PM EDT
(Photo : Reuters )
On Monday, the butler of Pope Benedict XVI, Paolo Gabriele has been indicted and could face up to six years in prison for stealing and leaking to the press private documents of the Pope, which in turn led to corruption allegations and revealed various tiffs within the Vatican.
Gabriele has been in confinement for two months after which he was put under house-arrest. He was arrested on May 23 for "aggravated Theft," according to the Washington Post. On Monday, Vatican Judge Piero Antonio Bonnet, announced the 46-year-old will be put on trial and if charged with additional charges of "aggravating factors" can face eight years in jail.
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In addition to Gabriele's indictment, a Vatican computer technician is also being put on trial for being an accomplice to Gabriel. But a statement from the Vatican reveals that Claudio Sciarpelletti will face only a minor punishment.
The Vatican also released a statement saying that investigation on others involved in the scandal is still going.
Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican Spokesman told the Guardian, "Magistrates do not believe they have finished their investigations...This is a partial conclusion."
In May, after his arrest, Gabriele admitted to sending the documents in question to the press, telling journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi that "I reached the point of no return and could not control myself anymore," referring to the corruption going on within the holy institution. Nuzzi, in turn published all the documents in his best-selling book Sua Santita (His Holiness) in January. The goal of the book as well as Gabriele was to steer "the church back on the right track," as reported by the Washington Post.
The Pope called the allegations against the Vatican saddening and reprimanded the media for reporting the accusations in an "exaggerated" and "gratuitous" fashion according to The Washington Times.
Gabriele has been the Pope's personal butler since 2006. His involvement in the affair stirred up a media frenzy, which soon deemed the scandal as "vatileaks" correlating it to the famous "wikileaks" scandal, in which whistle blowers including the very popular Julian Assange revealed State secrets in a battle of transparency and openness between governments and civilians.
The court is currently in recess and will resume in September. The date the trial will commence has not yet been divulged.