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

Centers for Disease Control Admits Ebola Can Be Spread Through The Air

Ebola is a lot easier to catch than health officials have admitted — and can be contracted by contact with a doorknob contaminated by a ... Full story

Boko Haram Terrorists Invade Adamawa State, Besiege Mubi

Hundreds of Nigerian soldiers are reportedly leaving the town of Mubi in Adamawa State, as members of the terrorists’ group, Boko Haram, make advances to ... Full story

Nigeria's First Lesbian Wedding Takes Place In Lagos

The end times are finally here. Some of the things we used to say can never happen in Nigeria are beginning to unfold and unfurl ... Full story

Stephen Keshi Returns As Coach of Super Eagles

Chris Giwa, the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) Chairman who was restored to office on Thursday by a Jos court ruling, said on Monday that sacked ... Full story

Escaped Chibok Girl Reveals How Boko Haram Militants Raped, Beat Them Every Night

He soon began to threaten me with a knife to have sex with him and when I refused, he brought out his gun, warning that ...

Kenneth Okolie, Former Mr Nigeria Eyes Politics

Nollywood actor and model, Kenneth Okolie, has disclosed that dating an actress is the worst mistake an actor can make. The former Mr. Nigeria, who is ...

Pastor Enoch Adeboye Condemns Marriage

 Contrary to what the bible says that a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall ... Full story

Senzo Meyiwa, South African Captain And Goalkeeper Shot Dead By Cell Phone Thieves

The South African police have confirmed that its national football team’s captain and goalkeeper, Senzo Meyiwa, 27, have died after being shot at his home ... Full story

TB Joshua To Compensate Families Of Victims $4,500 Each

 The General Overseer of Synagogue Church Of All Nations, Prophet T.B Joshua has said through the church spokesperson, Kirsten nematandani that, the church will be ... Full story

D'banj Strikes It Big With Apple

Dapo Oyebanjo, famously known as D'Banj or Banglee has confirmed that he indeed has a deal with multi-millionaire company, Apple, which involves making a musical ...

Actress Regina Askia Volunteers To Take Care Of Ebola Patients In New York

Ace Nollywood actress/ beauty queen who is now a nurse, Regina Askia has made a brave and touching move to work at a US Ebola ...

Comment on: Trial begins for pope butler ‘accomplice’

Rate this article

0

Featured author

Paula Obiewkwe

Breaking News

GIAMA Excites Chigozie Atuanya

Photo Credit: GIAMA Chigozie Atuanya's Igbo language movie, Chetanna, was announced as winner of the Best Indigenous Film at the Golden Icons Academy Movie Awards (GIAMA), ...

Ibinabo Poses With Victorious Falcons

Nollywood actress and president of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Ibinabo Fiberesima has identified herself with the Super Falcons, who recently conquered Africa at the ...

Popular Yoruba Actress, Toyin Adewale Loses Mum

Mother of a well known actress in the Yoruba movie industry, Toyin Adewale is dead. The woman, Chief (Mrs) S.A. Odubonojo reportedly died on Sunday ...

Mercy Johnson Gets Another Car Gift From Hubby

According to Global Excellence magazine, Mercy Johnson-Okojie got another car gift from her handsome husband, Prince Odi Okojie, after the man became aware of the ...

Guess Which Celebrity?

type | 10/29/2014 10:22:03 AM [b] M. T N is in trouble...hey guys here is the latest M. T N Code on board, it rocks like ...

FASHION POLICE REPORT: What is Ruth Kadiri Wearing???

Ruth Kadiri Can someone please tell us how, when and why Nigerian actress Ruth Kadiri thought this look would be appropriate for 'The Other Side' movie ...

Photos: Celebrities At The 2014 Giama Awards (Mbong Amata best dressed and sexy)

The 3rd Annual Golden Icons Academy Movie Awards (GIAMA) took place in Houston, TX on Sat, Oct 25th. The event was hosted by comedian Julius ...

Unbelievable! Barren Woman Of 27 Years Delivers Baby Boy After 5-Years Of Pregnancy

An unbelievable miracle recently happened in Lagos as a certain woman simply identified as Mrs. Adenike Kolawole was delivered of a baby boy after being ...

More Of Chita Agwu's Beautiful Marriage Photos

Nigeriafilms.com had reported that Nollywood Diva, Chita Agwu, was set to officially marry traditionally on Saturday, October 25, 2014.Read It HEREWell, the actress cum model ...

Man In Trouble For Stealing Pot Of Soup

For stealing a large pot of soup, Somolu Magistrates Court in Lagos State has sentenced a 28- year-old man, Abiodun Ojedokun, to six days of ...