Pope's former butler could face four years in prison
By Marta Jimenez
Paolo Gabriele.
Paolo Gabriele.

.- The trial of Pope Benedict's former butler, Paolo Gabriele, will begin Sept. 29 as he faces up to four years in prison for stealing confidential documents.

According to the Vatican’s appeals court prosecutor, Giovanni Giacobbe, the trial will be public and the first hearing will take place before a three-judge panel.  

Paolo faces a minimum sentence for “aggravated theft” of three years and a maximum of four. His IT tech accomplice, Claudio Sciarpelletti, faces a maximum sentence of 12 months.

According to the Vatican accords with Italy, the sentences would be served in an Italian facility, as the Vatican does not operate any prisons. As the head of the Vatican City State, Pope Benedict could grant a pardon to his ex-butler at any time during the trial. However, once it has begun – because of the differences between Canon Law and the laws of the Vatican City State – the Pope will most likely wait until the end of the trial before making any interventions.

A limited number of persons will be able to attend the public trial, including some journalists.  Recording is strictly prohibited and any video or photos of the trial will be made public at the opening of the hearing.

Giacobbe said the trial does not have a specific time frame, and the accused are free to not be present in person and instead be represented by their lawyers.

The accused will not be under oath during the trial, but witnesses will have to be sworn in. Giacobbe also said the court will not be allowed to ask for assistance from the Commission of Cardinals established by the Pope to carry out in internal investigation of the leaks.  

However, if the commission led by Cardinal Julian Herranz Casado wishes to intervene, the court is free to allow it.

Last May, the Pope’s former butler was arrested for leaking confidential Vatican documents and was detained for two months by Vatican authorities.

He was later kept under house arrest in his apartment in Vatican City, where he lives with his wife and three children. He is currently on conditional release. Giacobbe said Paolo is allowed to travel to his trial without escort by Vatican security officials.

After formal dispositions are taken, the first hearing in the trial will take place at the Vatican City State Court Room this Saturday at 9:30 a.m. local time.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: