Vatican court rejects some butler trial evidence

Associated Press
FILE - In this file photo taken Wednesday, May, 23, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI, flanked by his butler Paolo Gabiele, delivers his blessing as he arrives at St.Peter's square at the Vatican for a general audience. Pope Benedict XVI’s trusted butler, who dressed the pontiff each morning, attended his daily Mass and helped serve him his meals, stands accused of stealing the pope’s private correspondence and giving it to a journalist who wrote a blockbuster book about the secrets of one of the most secretive institutions in the world. Paolo Gabriele, a 46-year-old father of three, goes on trial Saturday Sept. 29, 2012 in the most sensational crime committed on Vatican territory since the 1998 double murder of the Swiss Guard commander and his wife. That case never came to trial because the suspect killed himself.  (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
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FILE - In this file photo taken Wednesday, May, 23, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI, flanked by his butler Paolo …

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A Vatican tribunal has thrown out some evidence gathered in the investigation of the pope's butler, who is accused of stealing the pope's papers and passing them off to a journalist in the worst security breach in the Vatican's recent history.

The court also decided Saturday during the first hearing of the case to separate the trial of the butler, Paolo Gabriele, and that of his co-defendant, a Vatican computer expert.

Gabriele faces up to four years in prison if he is convicted of aggravated theft. He has already confessed, saying he leaked the documents to shed light on what he called the "evil and corruption" in the church, and asked to be pardoned by the pope.

Judge Giuseppe Dalla Torre set the next hearing for Tuesday, when Gabriele will be questioned.

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