Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Vatican
 Origins
 Africa
 Headlines
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 Facebook
 Twitter
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Vatican
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
.
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 cns@
 catholicnews.com
 or
 (202) 541-3250

.
 Copyright

 This material
 may not
 be published,
 broadcast,
 rewritten or
 otherwise
 distributed,
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

.
 CNS Story:

VATILEAKS-PROBE (UPDATED) May-26-2012 (380 words) xxxi

Pope's private assistant arrested in 'VatiLeaks' probe


The pope’s personal assistant, Paolo Gabriele, can be seen in the front seat of the popemobile as the pontiff arrives to lead his general audience May 2. (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Carol Glatz and Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi confirmed that Paolo Gabriele, the pope's private assistant, was arrested after private Vatican documents were found in his possession in connection to the so-called "VatiLeaks" scandal that began in January.

Father Lombardi said Gabriele was arrested the evening of May 23 by Vatican police after they found the illegally obtained documents in his home, which is on Vatican territory. He was still under arrest as May 26, the day the Vatican statement was issued. The dark-haired assistant can often be seen with the pope sitting in the front seat of the popemobile, next to the driver during papal general audiences on Wednesdays.

The spokesman said Vatican judge Nicola Picardi has completed "the first phase" of a preliminary investigation and Vatican judge Piero Antonio Bonnet has begun the next step of the inquiry.

Father Lombardi said May 25 that Gabriele, then unnamed by the Vatican, had been questioned by Vatican judges in order to obtain further information.

Gabriele has named two lawyers to represent him during the Vatican investigation and he has already had a chance to meet with them, Father Lombardi said.

The investigation will continue until enough evidence has been collected and then Judge Bonnet will either call Gabriele to stand trial or be acquitted, he said.

A committee of three cardinals Pope Benedict XVI appointed in April to look into the leaks had asked the gendarmes to investigate.

Dozens of private letters to Pope Benedict and other confidential Vatican correspondence and reports, including encrypted cables from Vatican embassies around the world, were leaked to an Italian journalist, Gianluigi Nuzzi. He published the documents in a book, "Your Holiness," released May 17.

In a statement two days later, Father Lombardi called the publication of the letters for commercial gain a "criminal act" and said the Vatican would take legal action. The publication, he said, violated the right to privacy and the "freedom of correspondence" of Pope Benedict, the letter writers and the pope's closest collaborators.

In the book's introduction, Nuzzi said his main source for the texts told him he was acting with a "small group" of Vatican insiders concerned about corruption and a thirst for power within the Vatican. According to his source, Nuzzi said, none of the people giving him documents knew who the others were.

END


Copyright (c) 2012 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250