Trial begins for pope butler ‘accomplice’

// News | Crime/Legal | Trial begins for pope butler ‘accomplice’
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

VATICAN CITY (AFP) – A Vatican computer technician accused of helping the pope’s former butler leak secret memos went on trial on Monday, in a case which could expose other whistleblowers within the Holy See.

Claudio Sciarpelletti was being tried in the tiny state’s 19th-century courtroom in what is expected to be a lightning trial as the Vatican rushes to wind up the embarrassing and damaging months-long scandal.

The 48-year-old is accused of aiding and abetting ex-butler Paolo Gabriele, who was sentenced to 18 months in jail last month after he admitted leaking papers alleging corruption and Machiavellian politics in the Vatican.

Cameramen and photographers have not been allowed into the courtroom for the trial and only a small group of journalists have been authorised to attend.

Vatican spokesman Ciro Benedettini told AFP the hearing had begun.

The technician was arrested on May 25 as the investigation into the leaks unfolded but only spent one night in a Vatican cell before being released.

A search by Vatican police unearthed a suspicious envelope addressed to Gabriele in Sciarpelletti’s desk.

In it, they found photocopies of memos published by Italian investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi in his book “His Holiness”, which collected letters depicting intrigue and infighting inside the Vatican.

The book touched on everything from fraud allegations to sex abuse scandals.

Called to account, Sciarpelletti’s testimony was confused and contradictory.

He said Gabriele had given him the envelope because he wanted his opinion on the contents, but that he had never opened it and had forgotten it was there.

He later said it was someone else entirely that had given him the envelope — a person identified in court documents only by the letter “W”.

He also talked about a second envelope, given to him by a certain “X”.

The trial will likely delve into the relationship between the butler and the technician. Gabriele — now serving time in a holding cell within the Vatican — is expected to take the stand to testify to their close friendship.

He was initially accused of giving false testimony, conspiracy to commit aggravated theft, aiding a thief and violating office secrets.

But the Vatican later reduced the charges, saying his alleged role in the leaks is “marginal” and that he faces only a light sentence if convicted after a trial likely to be shorter than Gabriele’s, which lasted a week.

Other witnesses expected to be called include William Kloter, deputy commander of the Swiss Guard and Sciarpelletti’s superior, Carlo Maria Polvani.

Monsignor Polvani is the nephew of Carlo Maria Vigano, formerly the Vatican’s top administrator, who had written letters to the pope which were later leaked alleging corruption in the Holy See.

Comments are moderated. Please keep them clean and brief.

Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Nigeria And Russia Sign Pact On Nuclear Technology

Nigeria yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with the government of the Russian Federation, on cooperation in the construction of a centre for nuclear ... Full story

Nigerian Government Constitutes Presidential Committee To Recover AMCON Loans

The Federal Government has set up a presidential inter-agency committee to recover loans granted commercial banks and corporate organizations by the Asset Management Corporation of ... Full story

Al-Mustapha: What Killed Abacha Also Killed Abiola, I Have Video Evidence Against Yoruba People

A former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, Monday, said he would soon open up on ... Full story

Militants Blow Up Shell And Eni Pipelines In Nigeria

Militants on Saturday blew up natural gas and crude oil pipelines belonging to Shell and Italy’s Eni in a campaign that has chopped Nigeria’s oil ... Full story

Niger Delta Avengers Mock Tompolo: We Warned You To Avoid Nigerian Government

The Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, yesterday, blamed former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, over the sufferings and untold hardship soldiers have allegedly subjected innocent ... Full story

UK Detectives Storm Nigeria For Alison-Madueke?s Case

As part of the ongoing probe and preparation for the arraignment of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, some investigators from the ...

Muhammadu Buhari: Sometimes I Pity Lai Mohammed

President Muhammadu Buhari says he feels pity for Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, for having the responsibility of explaining government’s actions or inaction ...

Jonathan?s Conceding Defeat Really Shocked Me Says President Muhammadu Buhari

One year after the 2015 Presidential elections and assumption in office, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday declared that he was shocked that former President Goodluck ...

Buhari Begs National Assembly To Speedily Pass Money Laundry Bill And Others

By Levinus NwabughioguABUJA-President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the National Assembly members to ensure the speedy passage of five Executive bill before it to help ...

Revealed : EFCC Recovers Another N900m From Jonathan?s Brother

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has recovered N900million from Mr. Waripamowei Dudafa, a former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. A reliable ...

EFCC Recovers N900m From Jonathan?s Ex-Aide, Waripamowei Dudafa

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has allegedly recovered N900m from Mr. Waripamowei Dudafa, a former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck ... Full story

Comment on: Trial begins for pope butler ‘accomplice’

Rate this article

0

Featured author

chuky01

Breaking News

See The Most Expensive And Beautiful Bedroom Of Mr Ibu

Comedian and actor, John Okafor a.k.a Mr. Ibu known for his hilarious films and jokes. The popular Nollywood actor has gone on Instagram to showoff ... Full story

Norwich Chasing Nigeria's Troost-Ekong

Norwich City are interested in signing Nigeria international William Troost-Ekong. Norwich are rebuilding as they hope to promptly bounce back to the English Premier League after ...

Nigeria Won't Underrate Luxembourg

Nigeria's caretaker coach, Salisu Yusuf, has stated that the team will not underrate Luxembourg in Tuesday's international friendly game. The game against Luxembourg is the second ...

Blessing Okagbare Out Of Rome Diamond League

Nigeria's sprint star Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor will not be among the top stars expected to compete on Thursday in Rome, barring any late addition, as the ...

Lionel Messi's Tax Fraud Case Trial Opens In Spain In His Absence

The trial of Argentina star Lionel Messi in tax fraud charges commenced Tuesday in Spain in his absence just days before Argentina's first match in ...

Five Reasons Mourinho Might Fail At Manchester United

– Mourinho has many personal issues that may affect his job at United – Only a few young players have benefited from the Portuguese policy – His style of ...

Nigeria Heading For Recession As Naira Crashes Further Against Dollar

Pending when the CBN rolls out the details of the new flexible exchange rate policy, which is a monetary system that allows the exchange rate ...

Stock Market Lost N1.732tn In One Year Under Buhari

The Nigerian stock market crashed by N1.732tn within one year of the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government. The Nigerian Stock Exchange data showed that the NSE market ...

Iheanacho Set To Start Against Luxembourg

Nigeria's goal scorer against Mali last Kelechi Iheanacho will be rewarded with his second start for the Super Eagles in tonight’s friendly against hosts Luxembourg. “Iheanacho ...

New Video: Olamide ft Phyno And Wande Coal - Who You Epp

Olamide has dropped the video for one of the hottest songs so far in 2016. “Who You Epp” has had quite a number of remixes but ...