‘I broke the Pope’s trust’, that’s the admission made Paolo Gabriele at the Vatican City tribunal court today. Pope Benedict’s former butler admits taking documents from the pontiff’s private apartment, but he denies the charge against him of aggravated theft.
(from start to 0022) In court, Gabriele agreed that he’d photocopied the papers – in office hours and in plain view of others - but that he does feel guilty about the trust he betrayed. The documents held secrets alleging power struggles and corruption inside the Vatican which he then leaked to a journalist in a huge security breach that’s rocked the Catholic community around the world.
Gregory Burke, Senior Advisor of Communications for the Vatican says: "Paolo Gabriele never denied having photocopied and taking copies of the documents out, that's pretty clear, you know, he says he was doing it because he saw a situation of scandal and he wanted to help."
In a bizarre twist, Gabriele also complained to his court about mistreatment by Vatican police. He claimed that, after his arrest, he was detained in a small room with the light on for 24 hours a day, for between 15 and 20 days. The police deny this. If Gabriele’s found guilty, he faces four years in prison, but he might also be pardoned by Pope Benedict XVI.