May 22, 2013
Pope's butler set to testify at Vatican trial
Pope Benedict's former butler is to give evidence for the first time on Tuesday on the second day of his trial for stealing documents he hoped would expose corrupt dealings in the Vatican.
Paolo Gabriele, 46, an unassuming and devout servant who prompted a crisis in Benedict's papacy after he slipped sensitive documents to an Italian journalist, has not spoken publicly since he was arrested in May.
The testimony of the manservant - a member of the Vatican's most inner circle, the "papal family" - will be closely followed for hints on what prompted him to betray the man Catholics consider Christ's vicar on earth.
The papers Gabriele admits he photocopied and passed on at secret meetings included letters to the pope in which a senior Vatican functionary expressed concern about improper behaviour in the Holy See's business dealings.
The leaks were a blow to the Vatican, which has been eager to clean up its image after a series of scandals involving its bank. The letter-writer, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, was later posted to Washington despite pleading to be allowed to remain at the papal state.
The case, dubbed "Vatileaks," saw the butler imprisoned in the Vatican police station while investigators seized 82 boxes of evidence from the apartment where he lived with his wife and three children.