Pope's ex-butler refused checks on computer, second trial told


The former butler of Pope Benedict convicted of stealing papal documents had not allowed technicians to check his computer for the last six years, a court trying a second suspect in the Vatican leaks scandal heard yesterday. The detail was made public at the first hearing in the trial of Claudio Sciarpelletti, a computer expert who is charged with aiding and abetting Paolo Gabriele, the former butler.

The leaks scandal unleashed one of the biggest crises of Pope Benedict’s papacy, embarrassing the Vatican at a time when it was struggling to overcome child sex abuse scandals, as well as mismanagement at its bank.

Gabriele was convicted of aggravated theft at a separate trial last month and sentenced to 18 months in jail for stealing sensitive papal documents and leaking them to the media. He kept some confidential information on his computer. One of the pope’s closest household assistants, Gabriele admitted leaking the documents in what he said was an attempt to help disclose “evil” in the headquarters of the 1.2 billion-member faith.

– (Guardian service)