clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Vatican opens public butler leaks trial

FILE - In this file photo taken Wednesday, May, 23, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI, flanked by his butler Paolo Gabiele, delivers his blessing as he arrives at St.Peter's square at the Vatican for a general audience. Pope Benedict XVI’s trusted butler, who dress
FILE - In this file photo taken Wednesday, May, 23, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI, flanked by his butler Paolo Gabiele, delivers his blessing as he arrives at St.Peter's square at the Vatican for a general audience. Pope Benedict XVI’s trusted butler, who dressed the pontiff each morning, attended his daily Mass and helped serve him his meals, stands accused of stealing the pope’s private correspondence and giving it to a journalist who wrote a blockbuster book about the secrets of one of the most secretive institutions in the world. Paolo Gabriele, a 46-year-old father of three, goes on trial Saturday Sept. 29, 2012 in the most sensational crime committed on Vatican territory since the 1998 double murder of the Swiss Guard commander and his wife. That case never came to trial because the suspect killed himself.
Andrew Medichini, File, Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican opened the public trial of the pope's butler for allegedly stealing and leaking papal correspondence to a journalist, the most embarrassing scandal of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy.

Paolo Gabriele, a 46-year-old father of three, faces up to four years in prison if he is convicted of aggravated theft in the worst security breach in the Vatican's recent history. He has already confessed and asked to be pardoned by the pope — something Vatican watchers say is a given if he is convicted.

His trial opened Saturday inside the austere, wood-trimmed courtroom of the Vatican tribunal, housed in a four-story palazzo inside the walls of Vatican City.