VATICAN CITY — A judge at the Vatican ordered the former butler of Pope Benedict XVI on Monday to stand trial on charges of taking and then leaking documents from the pope’s private apartment that raised allegations of corruption at the Vatican.
The accusations, including a charge of aggravated theft, against the butler, Paolo Gabriele, were set out in a 35-page indictment that, for the first time, accused a second Vatican employee of involvement. The employee, Claudio Sciarpelletti, 48, a computer expert, was charged with aiding and abetting a crime. Previously the Vatican had said Gabriele, 45, was the only person under investigation.
Even so, Sciarpelletti was described in the indictment as a close friend, not an accomplice, of Gabriele, and it said his role was limited. He spent one night in jail after an envelope was found in his desk containing sensitive material, the indictment said.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, told reporters that under Vatican law, Benedict could pardon the two accused men at any time, but it was not clear whether he would do so.