Vatican City

Pope meets with 'VatiLeaks' investigators

Papal butler may see trial, decision August 6 or 7

Pope meets with 'VatiLeaks' investigators

(ANSA) - Vatican City, July 27 - Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday met with cardinals and Vatican magistrates investigating the leaking of confidential Church documents, the Holy See said on Friday. The pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested in May after being found in possession of confidential documents. "Benedict thanked them for the information received and invited the Vatican magistrates to continue working with diligence," said Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi. The magistrates are set to complete their probe by August 6 or 7, added Lombardi, at which point the butler will either be sent to trial or cleared. Gabriele, who is now under house arrest, is suspected of aggravated theft. Vatican experts have speculated that he is a pawn of a power struggle between cardinals. Rome-based daily La Repubblica on Monday said that one of Benedict's housekeepers and two prelates were under investigation for playing a role in the leaks, however the Church was quick to deny it. "(Three people may have been questioned)," said Lombardi, "but this says nothing about suspicion of responsibility and complicity". After Gabriele was released Saturday following two months in custody, his lawyer said he had acted alone and was not part of a group of plotters. The affair of the leaked documents, which the Italian press have dubbed 'VatiLeaks', included letters to the pope and Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone from the Holy See's ambassador in Washington, Carlo Maria Vigano, who was deputy governor of Vatican City at the time they were written. The letters contained allegations of corruption in the management of Vatican City. The papal butler Gabriele is the only person to have been arrested in the case.

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