“Vatileaks” affair expands

According to the investigators, he is a computer scientist from the papal secretariat of state. The vatican does not exclude that there could be investigations into possible other backers of ex-servant paolo gabriele. He is facing six to eight years in prison for grand theft. The trial could start in october. But the investigation is not over yet.

The vatican published on monday both the investigation report and the indictment against the two manneres. The ex-servant of benedict, who was arrested at the end of may and has since been released into house arrest, is accused of having stolen confidential documents from the pope's desk, some of which were leaked to the media. Among them were documents on an alleged murder plot against the pope and on controversial transactions of the vatican bank IOR.

As reported by the news agency ansa, not only documents were seized from the 46-year-old in the course of the investigation. A check made out to benedict for 100,000 euros and other gifts addressed to the pope were also found. According to ansa, gabriele's lawyer said that his client did not know about the check and never intended to cash it. Vatican spokesman federico lombardi also ruled out financial motives.

As one motive, the chamberlain stated that he had the impression that the pope was being misinformed. That had interested him personally. He photocopied the documents so that the originals would not disappear. That he had objects of the pope at home, he justified with his untidiness. According to radio vatican, psychiatric reports on gabrielle concluded that the father of the family had mental problems. Nevertheless, the judge had assumed a guilty verdict and charges had been filed.

`In addition to gabriele, another vatican employee must also answer to the court. The man in question is said to be a well-known paolo gabriele, a 48-year-old computer scientist from the papal secretariat of state.

Vatican spokesman lombardi stressed, according to ansa, however, that the latter should not be seen as an accomplice, since his offenses were far less serious than those of the former chamberlain. The computer scientist was released from prison after only one night and is currently relieved of his duties, but continues to receive his salary.

According to lombardi, the investigations into the background of "vatileaks" are still not over with the indictment. So there could possibly be further investigations also on backers of paolo gabriele.

Again and again there had been speculations in the media about possible accomplices. Names from benedict's immediate family were also mentioned. The vatican had always rejected this sharply. The lawyer had also rejected speculation in the past that the chamber servant was being used as a "scapegoat" in the matter.

Not published was the report of the commission of cardinals appointed by benedict to investigate the background of the affair. The pope had received the results and was following further developments, said lombardi.

The trial could possibly begin in october, the hearings are open according to radio vatican. The former chamberlain has apologized to the pope in the meantime. Even if there should be a conviction, benedict can pardon gabriele. This is his right by virtue of his office.

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