'At least 20 people behind Vatican leaks'
At least 20 people were involved in stealing and leaking compromising documents from the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI's butler has claimed.
Paolo Gabriele, who has been charged with aggravated theft and is likely to face a Vatican trial next month, told an Italian television programme that there were "at least 20 people" involved in the scandal.
The assertion contradicts the Vatican's insistence that the plot was small-scale and confined only to Mr Gabriele and a second person who has been charged with complicity, a Vatican computer expert named Claudio Sciarpelletti.
Mr Gabriele (46), who faces six years in jail if found guilty, said he had collaborated with more than 20 other people "who, like me, want to contribute to transparency".
There was a power struggle going on in the Vatican between liberals and conservatives who wanted to block reform, he said.
By leaking the documents, the whistleblowers had created "a breach" in the wall of secrecy that traditionally surrounded the Holy See, he said.
Mr Gabriele was arrested in May after police found private papal papers in his apartment in the Vatican. Among the stolen documents were letters from the then deputy governor of the city state, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, alleging corruption and nepotism in the Vatican administration.
After pleading with the Pope to take action, Archbishop Vigano was moved against his will to Washington, where he was made the papal nuncio. (© Daily Telegraph, London)