1 Oct 2012

Evidence thrown out of Vatican butler trial

6:58 am on 1 October 2012

Vatican judges have refused to admit key evidence in the trial of the Pope's former butler, charged with stealing sensitive documents.

Paolo Gabriele is accused of stealing sensitive documents from the Pope's desk, the BBC reports.

Mr Gabriele's lawyers had asked to include evidence gathered by cardinals who carried out an inquiry into the "Vatileaks" scandal for Pope Benedict.

But judges at the high-profile trial said they would rely only on evidence from the Vatican police and prosecutor.

They adjourned the case until Tuesday, when Mr Gabriele will be questioned.

The 46-year-old was identified as the source of leaked documents that were published in a book by an Italian journalist in May.

He has admitted to investigators that he had leaked confidential documents to expose "evil and corruption".

The Pope ordered cardinals to carry out an inquiry separate to the probe by Vatican police after the scandal broke. The results of their investigation have not been made public.

Mr Gabriele faces up to four years in prison if convicted of aggravated theft, but he could be pardoned by the Pope.