Pope Benedict XVI's treacherous butler has written a letter to the pontiff expressing his 'pain' and asking 'forgiveness' for leaking private letters and documents to the Italian media.
Father-of-three Paolo Gabriele, 46, was arrested two months ago, after the Pope turned detective and ordered an investigation into who was responsible for passing his private correspondence, in a scandal that was dubbed Vatileaks.
Earlier this week Gabriele was freed from custody and bailed to his home inside the Vatican, pending the final probe by prosecutors who will decide whether to take the case to a full trial later this year.
The trial is likely to attract worldwide attention if it goes ahead.
The existence of the letter was disclosed by his lawyer Carlo Fusco, who handed it to the Commission of Cardinals, set up by Pope Benedict to investigate the case which rocked the Vatican earlier this year after the embarrassing documents emerged in newspapers, on TV and in a book.
Mr Fusco said: 'Paolo told me that the letter is his way of admitting his mistakes, the pain he feels and also asking the Pope for forgiveness.
'It is a confidential letter and it has been handed to the Commission of Cardinals set up by Pope Benedict.'
Source: Daily Mail