September 29, 2012. (Romereports.com)
This morning, at the Pope's former butler walked into the Vatican's civil court room to start off his trial hearing. He faces a charge of aggravated theft, for his alleged involvement in the Vatileaks case.
The case is getting world wide attention and it's not just because of the scandal. This also marks the first judicial process in recent history to take place inside Vatican territory. Three Italian lay judges will preside over the case and they will follow a Penal Code that was established in the 19th century.
The Pope's butler, 46 year old Paolo Gabriele was arrested in May. He wrote a letter to the Pope where he reportedly appoligzed for his involvement in the leak of documents.
If found guilty he could face up to 4 years in prison. Along with him, a computer programmer who worked at the Vatican's Secretariat of state, is facing a lesser charge of adding and abbeting, which could lead to a year in prison. He was not present at the trial hearing, but he was represented by his lawyer.
Once a sentenced is issued, the Pope could grant a 'Papal Pardon,' but it's unknown if he will do so or not.
From the Vatican. I'm KLH for RR