The Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, says no discussions were held between Ruini and Bertone on the Viganò case, neither were letters rogatory sent to the Italian public prosecution. Meanwhile, the wait for the papal butler's trial continues
-ALESSANDRO SPECIALE-VATICAN CITY-It looks like there’s going to be a long wait before Paolo Gabriele’s trial gets off the ground. The Pope’s butler was arrested last week as part of the Vatican inquiry into the Vatileak scandal. Carlo Fusco and Cristiana Arru, the two defending lawyers of the Pope’s former butler - currently the only person charged with the theft dozens of confidential documents that have been splashed all over the Italian press over the past six months – have still not presented their petition to request the first “formal” interrogation.
This is the first step along the path that will lead Bonnet to decide on whether Gabriele is to be committed for trial or not. In his daily briefing with journalists, the Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, stated that the interrogation will not take place before next week, as the butler’s lawyers have decided to take time to get “an adequate and complete picture” of the case. Over the past few days, the two lawyers have held “extensive interviews” with Gabriele.
Meanwhile, investigators have not stood around twiddling their thumbs. Lombardi said that as they wait for the former butler’s “formal interrogation” to begin, they have been busy “examining and cataloguing the material acquired” from the house search carried out in Gabriele’s residence last Wednesday 23 May, which they will then “pass on to the investigating magistrate.”
The Vatican spokesman denied that Vatican investigators had already prepared or even forwarded to Italian legal authorities, letters rogatory concerning Italian citizens involved in the inquiry. “I have read in the press that some letters rogatory have already been sent. This allegation is completely unfounded - Lombardi said. It could happen but it has not happened yet and will not happen before the situation has been assessed and evaluated further.”
Equally unfounded are the claims that the Vatican Gendarmerie carried out some “operations in Italian territory,” as well as the news about Cardinal Ruini apparently holding discussions over the past few months with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone on the Viganò case and Medjugorje and with Giovanni Maria Flick on the Toniolo institute. When asked whether the news about the Vatican Gendarmerie carrying out a search in one of the Roman Curia’s offices was true, Lombardi answered: “I do not know anything about this.”
What is certain, judging by the Vatican spokesman’s statement, is that the mandate and action range of the Cardinals’ Commission - made up of three elderly cardinals, Herranza, Tomko and De Giorgi - is more far reaching than that of the Gendarmerie. The three red birettas have continued their series of “hearings” over the past few days. These are more informational than court-related and are therefore not to be seen as interrogations.
According to Fr. Lombardi, the fact that the Commission is made up of cardinals, means it “has the power to hold “hearings” at all levels, including with cardinals who can offer opinions or to heads of offices where problems have been verified.” The three cardinals “have no problems related to hierarchical relations; they are over eighty and will not take part in any conclaves; they do not face any Curia-related problems and,” importantly, Lombardi stressed with a smile, “they may have more time available, given that they have no specific responsibilities.”
Following the harsh criticisms that have come from the Vatican in recent days - starting with the interview which the substitute of the Secretary of State, Mgr. Giovanni Angelo Becciu issued to Vatican daily broadsheet L’Osservatore RomanoTuesday – and from the political and ecclesial world, a reply arrived today from Chiarelettere, the publishing house that published “Sua Sanità” (His Holiness) the book by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, which contains a significant number of confidential documents that were leaked from the Vatican.
Chiarelettere defends Nuzzi saying: “far from receiving anything, he carried out his duty as a journalist, making the public aware of documents of general interest, whilst still respecting Italian and European law.”
“Certain statements which invite the Italian government to take on a role it is not meant to play in a democratic state, are shocking. As such, the parliamentary interrogations announced by certain policians whom one would expect to firmly defend the freedom of press, appear out of place,” the note continued.
Vaticaninsider.com 31 May 2012