Vatican: Spokesman denies five cardinals being quizzed on leaks scandal
last update: May 29, 16:16
Vatican City, 29 May (AKI) - Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi on Tuesday rejected reports that five cardinal were being questioned over the deepening scandal of leaked documents revealing corruption and power struggles within the Vatican.
''Media reports that five cardinals have been questioned have no basis in fact," Lombardi said on Tuesday.
Lombardi also denied reports that envelopes with lists of names had been found in the apartment where confidential papal documents were found in the possession Pope Benedict XVI's butler, Paolo Gabriele, who was arrested on 25 May.
Gabriele has so far been charged with “aggravated theft,” according to Lombardi.
Investigators are combing through Gabriele's computer and bank details in an attempt to trace people he has been in touch with.
Lombardi admitted that the leaks scandal - considered the most serious crisis of Benedict's papacy - was "a serious challenge for the Pope and for Roman Curia (Vatican government)."
There was "shock and disbelief" in the Vatican at Gabriele's arrest, Lombardi said.
"Gabriele is someone who worked for the Pope for several years and had never given any cause for concern."
The day before Gabriele was arrested, Vatican bank chief Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was ousted by its board for allegedly failing to clean up the image of the bank after a money-laundering scandal last year and has also been named as a possible source of leaked documents about the institution.
Two months ago, the Pope appointed a special commission to investigate the so-called 'Vatileaks' documents passed to the Italian media and printed in a book published last week called Sua Santita (His Holiness).
Several Italian media outlets have quoted sources claiming Gabriele was just one of around 20 whistleblowers who had been leaking information.
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