'Vatileaks' journalist declined Vatican accreditation

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - An Italian journalist who published leaks of confidential papal documents last year said Monday he had been denied accreditation by the Vatican to cover the upcoming conclave.

"This is a choice for obscurantism, far from transparency and press freedom," Gianluigi Nuzzi said on his Twitter account.

Mr Nuzzi published his book "Your Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI" last year, alleging high intrigue at the heart of the Catholic Church.

Benedict's butler Paolo Gabriele - one of the lay people closest to the head of the world's Catholics - was convicted of leaking the documents but later pardoned by the then pope. The scandal came to be known as "Vatileaks".

Mr Nuzzi had submitted his accreditation application online on behalf of the private television channel La7.

He said he received a letter on Monday saying he had been denied without any explanation. More than 5,600 journalists have been accredited to cover the election of the next pope.

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