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.
Headlines Newsview all
The sort of evils being committed everyday in this world by human beings make you wonder if this world shouldn’t be already ended. A lady ... Full story
A middle age man Oluyinde Ibrahim who was arrested by policemen attached to the Oko- Oba Police Station at Agege area of Lagos State for ... Full story
A ghastly motor accident involving a Tata bus and three other cars in Ketu, Lagos has left many injured in yet another early morning accident. A ... Full story
Rate this article
- PHOTO: How Top Television Producer Was Found N*ked and Beaten To Death In Beauty Spot
- Hilarious!! See The Job Advert In Ibadan That Got People Talking
- Breaking News: First Case of Lassa Fever Confirmed In Lagos
Popular Nigerian music producer and singer, Cobhams Asuquo, will always remain a toast of many each day as his magic fingers on the keyboard helps ...
When one is healthy, you don’t need too much experience to sight it. Awarding winning Nollywood actress Kate Henshaw whose marriage crashed some years ago ...
Late Fela Anikulapo Kuti is a well celebrated man in Nigeria. Despite been dead, his legacy lives on. His quest for justice and truthful kind ...
Everyone sure has different stories to tell about valentine celebration, all with different perception to it but they are all entitled to their opinion.Nollywood actress, ...
When some people attend red carpet events, some go for the main event, while some go to see the latest outfit that is being worn ...
Every one is looking forward to celebrating valentines day, a day set aside to show love, even though it has been generalized to be lovers ...
The much talked about movie, ‘Surulere’ was premiered last night in Lagos and some Nollywood stars and guest gave in their touch of style as ...
Love is a special and complicated emotion which is quite difficult to understand. Although most people believe that love revolves around the heart, but many ...
During the week, Nigeriafilms.com had reported that Monalisa Chinda was all ready to give marriage a second trial.From what we further gathered, the light-complexioned screen ...
Recently, speculations which went viral about Nollywood actress, Foluke Daramola and her hubby, that the two lovers headed for the marriage registry to seal their ...