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Pope calls for speed in deciding butler’s fate

The pope has called on Holy See investigators to proceed quickly with their inquiry into a former butler for his role in the Vatican leaks scandal.

The decision over whether Paolo Gabriele should face trial will be made on August 6 or 7, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Friday.

The pontiff’s former butler, Gabriele is the sole suspect behind the leaked documents, which revealed an atmosphere of intrigue at the Vatican and a power struggle centring around the powerful Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone.

Pope Benedict XVI met the examining magistrate on the case Thursday “to hear the progress of the criminal procedures underway,” and “invited the Vatican magistrates to proceed expeditiously,” the Holy See said in a statement.

Gabriele, who was arrested on May 23, is accused of stealing documents from the papal chambers, copying them and passing them on to a journalist.

He risks up to six years in prison but could also be pardoned by the pope.

If the trial goes ahead, it would not take place until October at the earliest, the Vatican has said.

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