Pope's butler awaits verdict in papal leaks trial

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Associated Press

Posted on October 6, 2012 at 3:04 AM

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A chapter in one of the most damaging scandals of Pope Benedict's papacy could be concluded today with a verdict in the trial of the pontiff's butler, who is accused of leaking papal documents.

Paolo Gabriele faces up to four years in prison if he's convicted of aggravated theft. He's accused of stealing the pope's private correspondence and passing it onto a journalist. Gianluigi Nuzzi's book revealed the intrigue, petty infighting and allegations of corruption and homosexual liaisons that plague the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church.

Gabriele has insisted he acted alone but some observers say that core question will remain open.

Gabriele has a chance to deliver a final statement to the court after attorneys deliver their closing arguments. A verdict is expected later in the day by a three-judge panel.

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