September 27, 2012. (Romereports.com)
The Vatican says the Pope's butler will have a quick and just trial hearing, for his alleged involvement in the Vatileaks case. The trial will take place here, in this small civil courtroom located inside the Vatican City State.
It will be presided by three lay Italian judges. The judicial president is Italian Giuseppe Dalla Torre
. The prosecutor, Nicola Picardi, is also Italian.
For now, the pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele, is only accused of 'aggravated theft' of confidential Papal documents. If found guilty, he could face up to four years in prison.
At this point, the investigation on the 'aggravated theft' charge has come to a close, but other charges could follow. They could include an attack on the integrity of the State, slander and disclosure of confidential information.
If the butler is sentenced to prison, he would serve that time at an Italian jail cell, since the Vatican doesn't have a prison.
The other defendant is Claudio Sciarpelletti, a Vatican computer programmer, who is accused of complicity. If found guilty he could be sentenced to a year behind bars.
According to the prosecutor, Sciarpelletti, would hand over documents, on behalf of others, to the butler, so he could in turn leak them to reporters.
The courtroom is found inside this antique Vatican building. The Penal Code it follows is also quite old. It was approved in Italy back in 1889.
A total of Eight journalists will be allowed inside the courtroom to follow the proceedings. But no photographs or video of any kind are allowed.
Once a sentence is issued, the Pope could grant a so called 'Papal Pardon' to both defendants. But whether he will do that or not, is still unknown.