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Pope’s private assistant arrested in VatiLeaks probe


VATICAN CITY (CNS): Vatican spokesperson, Father Federico Lombardi, confirmed on May 26 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 Vatican police took Gabriele into custody on the evening of May 23 after they found the illegally obtained documents in his home, which is in Vatican City. The dark-haired assistant was often seen with the pope, sitting in the front seat of the popemobile, next to the driver during papal general audiences on Wednesdays. 

“You can easily imagine how the Pope is feeling right now,” Father Lombardi said, “All those who are in and out of the Apostolic Palace on a regular basis and have met Paolo Gabriele are hurt and shocked.” 

The spokesperson said that Vatican promotor of justice, Nicola Picardi, has completed the first phase of a preliminary investigation and examining magistrate, Piero Antonio Bonnet, has begun the next step of the inquiry. 

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

He said Gabriele named two lawyers to represent him and has already had a chance to meet with them. The investigation will continue until enough evidence has been collected and then Bonnet will either call Gabriele to stand trial or be acquitted, he said......


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