Pope’s Butler Goes on Trial

Posted September 29th, 2012 at 6:30 am (UTC-5)
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The trial of Pope Benedict's former butler is under way. A three-judge Vatican tribunal began the trial Saturday.

Paolo Gabriele, a 46-year-old father of three is facing up to four years in prison for aggravated theft in a trial that is unprecedented in the modern history of the world's smallest state.

He has confessed to stealing personal papers from the pope and passing them to a journalist writing a book on alleged corruption in the church.

Gabriele has said he was disgusted with the “evil and corruption” in the church. He has written to the pope, asking for forgiveness.

Many Vatican observers say they expect Pope Benedict to pardon Gabriele if he is convicted.

A co-defendant who worked for the Vatican's secretary of state is charged with aiding and abetting Gabriele.

The trial is open to the public, but access is limited because of the courtroom size.