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Pope's butler granted house arrest

  • The Pope's butler has been released from custody and placed under house arrest.

    The Vatican said Paolo Gabriele will remain under house arrest until a decision is made on whether he should stand trial for leaking confidential papers to the media.

    Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said a magistrate would decide whether to proceed by the start of next month.

    Gabriele is Pope Benedict XVI's personal butler and assistant, and one of the very few with access to his private apartments.

    He was charged in May after a series of leaks, nicknamed “Vatileaks”, exposed alleged corruption, cronyism and internal conflict within the Holy See.

    According to Italian media reports, confidential documents had been found in the apartment Gabriele shares with his wife and three children inside the Vatican.

    If convicted, he could face a sentence of up to 30 years for illegal possession of documents of a head of state. He would likely serve time in an Italian prison due to an agreement between Italy and the Vatican.