In brief: Pope’s butler will help investigators
VATICAN CITY – The biggest scandal to rock the Vatican in decades widened Monday with the pope’s butler, arrested for allegedly having confidential documents in his home, agreeing to cooperate with investigators – raising the specter that higher-ranking ecclesial heads may soon roll.
Few believe butler Paolo Gabriele worked alone to leak dozens of documents shedding light on power struggles, corruption and intrigue inside the highest levels of the Catholic Church.
Gabriele, the pope’s personal butler since 2006, was arrested Wednesday evening after Holy See documents were found inside his Vatican City apartment. He remains in custody in a Vatican detention facility, accused of theft, and has met with his wife and lawyers.
Gabriele’s lawyer, Carlo Fusco, said Monday that his client had told the Vatican judge investigating the case that he would “respond to all the questions and will collaborate with investigators to ascertain the truth.”
Italian media reported Monday that a cardinal is suspected of playing a major role in the scandal. However, the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, denied the reports categorically. He said many Vatican officials were being questioned but insisted “there is no cardinal under suspicion.”
Peru clamps down after protest deaths
LIMA, Peru – Peru’s government has declared a 30-day state of emergency in a highlands province where authorities say two people were killed in anti-mining demonstrations and protesters took a prosecutor hostage.
Interior Minister Wilver Calle said in a news conference that 30 police officers were injured Monday in clashes with protesters near Cuzco. The protesters claim the Tinaya copper mine owned by Swiss-based Xstrata plc is contaminating local water sources.
Rebels release video of French reporter
BOGOTA, Colombia – The Venezuelan TV network Telesur broadcast Monday the first video images of a French journalist captured a month ago by Colombian rebels, who say they plan to release him on Wednesday.
The video, taken by the rebels, shows Romeo Langlois, 35, seated and covered with a white towel, having his left forearm sutured for a bullet wound and looking relaxed but pallid as he answers questions from a female guerrilla.
The rebels said they recorded the video about two hours after Langlois surrendered on April 28, according to independent journalist Karl Penhaul, who obtained the footage from them.