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Pope's Butler Arrested over Vatican Letters Allegedly Exposing Corruption

The pope’s butler has been arrested by Vatican police on suspicion of leaking confidential letters that expose alleged corruption and nepotism.

A Vatican spokesman declined to confirm the arrest, which was widely reported by Italian media last Friday and dubbed ‘Vatileaks’.

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The butler, Paolo Gabriele, 46, was reportedly detained after an investigation uncovered documents in the Vatican apartment he shares with his wife and three children. He had worked as the Pope’s butler since 2006 but is now in custody in the Vatican’s cells.

The Vatican gave an investigative team, led by Cardinal Julian Herranz, a full ‘pontifical mandate’ last month to find all those involved in leaking of the documents.

The letters place Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (Vatican secretary of state) in a bad light but spare the pontiff. A Vatican expert at La Stampa newspaper suggests Gabriele will serve at least 20 years for stealing correspondence from a head of state.

Further revelations were published this week in a book by a journalist, Gianluigi Nuzzi, who described how a whistleblower sent representatives to ‘sound him out’ before they held meetings in a secret location near the Vatican. ‘I wore a USB round my neck for six months with the leaked documents on it,’ Nuzzi told the Guardian. ‘It was like something out of a film.’

The book also alleges that the editor of the Vatican’s newspaper engineered a gay smear campaign against a rival editor.

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