* Butler had information on how to hide computer files
* Trial adjourned until Saturday, when verdict expected
* Butler had clippings on occult, Masons, secret services
(Adds quotes, colour, background)
By Philip Pullella and Naomi O'Leary
VATICAN CITY, Oct 3 Pope Benedict's former
butler stole highly sensitive papers the pontiff had marked "to
be destroyed" and compromised Vatican security through his
actions, the Holy See's police told his trial on Wednesday.
On the third day of Paolo Gabriele's trial, testimony
depicted a man fascinated by the occult, Masonic lodges, secret
services and past Italian and Vatican scandals.
"You can understand our unease when we saw these documents.
This was a total violation of the privacy of the papal family,"
said police agent Stefano De Santis, one of the four agents who
said they found the papers in Gabriele's home, using a Vatican
term for the pope's closest aides.
Gabriele's leak to an Italian journalist of sensitive
documents, some of them alleging corruption in the Vatican,
caused one of the biggest crises of Pope Benedict's papacy.
It threw an unflattering spotlight on the inner workings of
a city-state eager to shake off a series of scandals involving
sexual abuse of minors by clerics around the world and
mismanagement at its bank.
Gabriele, a trusted servant who served the pope meals,
helped him dress and rode in the popemobile, has admitted
passing papers to the journalist at secret meetings, but told
the court at a previous hearing he did not see this as a crime.
The former butler sat impassively and occasionally smiled
during Wednesday's 75-minute session as Vatican policemen told
the court how they searched his apartment in the Vatican on May
23, the night of his arrest, and what they found.
The mass of incriminating documents, most of which were
hidden in huge piles of papers stashed in a large wardrobe,
included personal letters between the pope, cardinals and
politicians on a variety of subjects.
Some papers, De Santis said, bore the pope's handwriting and
had been marked "to be destroyed" by the pontiff in German. He
did not say what those papers concerned.
Some of the documents were copies of encrypted documents.
"One photocopy was enough to threaten the operations of the Holy
See," De Santis told the court, without elaborating.
The agents said they found a mass of documents and books
filled with newspaper clippings on the occult, secret services,
Masonic lodges, yoga, political scandals in Italy, scandals
involving the Vatican bank and other subjects.
Defence lawyer Cristiana Arru sought to turn the spotlight
on police methods during the search, drawing out several agents
to say that they had not used gloves when they handled the
documents, and a gold nugget and a cheque for 100,000 euros made
out to the pope which were also found.
Police said Gabriele, once one of fewer than 10 people who
had the key to an elevator leading to the private papal
apartment, had printed instructions on how to hide files in
computers and how to use cellphones secretly.
Bishop Francesco Cavina, who knew Gabriele in the Vatican,
told Italian newspaper La Repubblica on Wednesday that the
butler, a father-of-three, may have a "disturbed mind" and "a
Two of the four policemen who testified on Wednesday also
rejected Gabriele's accusations, made on Tuesday, that he was
mistreated for several weeks after his arrest.
Gabriele told the court's previous hearing that for up to 20
days he was held in a room so small he could not stretch out his
arms and that the light was left on 24 hours a day, causing him
A Vatican judge ordered an investigation into the
De Santis said the search turned up "many more" papers than
appeared in a book by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, who
wrote a muckraking expose early in 2012.
The letters to the pope included one in which a senior
Vatican functionary expressed concern about corruption in the
Holy See's business dealings with Italian companies.
The letter-writer, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, was posted
to Washington after raising the issue, despite begging to be
allowed to stay at the papal state.
The trial adjourned until Saturday, when a verdict is
(Reporting By Philip Pullella and Naomi O'Leary; Editing by