Court hears police testimony in "Vatileaks" trial

2012-10-03 Vatican Radio

Vatican police officers have denied accusations made by the lawyer of Paolo Gabriele that he was mistreated while first in custody.

"Nobody ever mistreated Paolo Gabriele, and he himself always expressed his gratitude to the police for the way he was treated,” said Luca Cintia, the officer who oversaw his detention.

On Wednesday, the court heard the testimony of several Vatican police officers who searched Gabriele’s home. It was the third day of the trial against the Pope’s former butler, who is accused of stealing papal documents.

The officers said they found several highly confidential documents, including some bearing the signature of the Pope, and some of these marked to be destroyed.

The police witnesses recounted the raid of Gabriele’s apartment on May 23rd. They seized about a thousand documents of interest, some photocopies and some originals.

"You can understand our unease when we saw these documents. This was a total violation of the privacy of the papal family," said Stefano De Santis, an officer who participated in the search.

They also found documents relating to secret societies, various freemason lodges, previous Church scandals, and eastern religions.

The trial will continue next Saturday, when the prosecution and defence will give their final interventions before the three-judge panel, which could possibly reach a decision in the case that day.