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Parole granted to papal valet in Vatileaks case

July 23, 2012

Paolo Gabriele, the valet to Pope Benedict XVI who was arrested in May for possessing confidential papal documents, has been released from custody, to remain under house arrest pending his trial on a charge of aggravated theft.

A Vatican magistrate ruled on July 21 that Gabriele could be freed from the secure room where he has been held since his arrest. It is “no longer necessary to keep him in custody,” the magistrate said, especially since the accused thief had “provided the necessary guarantees.” Gabriele will be allowed to live with his family in an apartment inside the Vatican.

The Vatican announcement of Gabriele’s parole indicated that the valet would probably face formal indictment within a few days.

Gabriele’s lawyer said that his client was not part of a conspiracy, but acted out of a desire “to do something that could be an act of help, an act of love, toward the Pope.” He said that in time Gabriele might apply to the Pontiff for clemency.

While Gabriele is reportedly cooperating with Vatican investigators in the Vatileaks case, informed observes question whether he could have acted alone in obtaining copies of dozens of confidential documents and making them available to Italian reporters.


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