Vatican City, Oct 3, 2012 / 12:48 pm
The judges presiding over the trial of the Pope's former butler heard today that his apartment contained piles of documents and newspaper cuttings about Masonic lodges, the occult and previous scandals involving the Church and state in Italy.
The evidence was presented during the third day of the criminal trial against Paolo Gabriele. The 46-year-old Italian stands accused of the "aggravated theft" of documents, including private papal correspondence. He denies the charge, while saying that he feels guilty of betraying Pope Benedict's trust.
Four police officers who carried out the May 23 search of Gabriele's apartment testified Oct. 3 before a three-judge panel in the Vatican City State's courtroom. Gabriele was arrested shortly after the search was conducted.
The officers described how they had found large piles of papers in wardrobes, cabinets and on shelving at the Gabriele apartment. These documents, they stated, included personal correspondence between Pope Benedict and various cardinals, along with encrypted communications from papal ambassadors around the world.