August 20, 2012

VATICAN CITY – Vatican magistrates have formally indicted a computer technician from the Vatican Secretariat of State on charges of aiding Gabriele after he stole Vatican correspondence.

The publication Aug. 13 of the decision of Piero Bonnet, the Vatican's investigating judge, included for the first time the naming of a second suspect, Claudio Sciarpelleti, the Secretariat of State employee.

Vatican police found an envelope from Gabriele in Sciarpelleti's desk and arrested him, according to the documents explaining Bonnet's judgment.

While the computer expert gave "contrasting versions of the facts" to investigators, in the end it was determined that there was enough evidence to bring him to trial on a charge of aiding and abetting Gabriele after the fact.

Gabriele, who will turn 46 Aug. 19, faces a sentence of one to six years in prison.

Bonnet's report quoted Gabriele as telling Vatican investigators, "In a certain way I felt infiltrated" by the Holy Spirit.

Many of the documents were the same as those featured in a January television program by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi and later published in a book by him.

Most of the documents dealt with allegations of corruption, abuse of power and a lack of financial transparency at the Vatican.

Gabriele's defence lawyers, insisted he received no money for what he did.

Defence lawyer Carlo Fusco also revealed that Gabriele had written "a confidential letter to the pope," asking for his forgiveness and telling the pope he had acted alone.

Gabriele also wants to ask the pope's forgiveness in person.