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Pope's bodyguard resigns over leak scandal

Popes bodyguard resigns over leak scandal

Vatican City: Pope Francis' main bodyguard Domenico Giani, the Vatican's security chief, resigned Monday over a leak to the media of details of a financial wrongdoing probe. Francis accepted Giani's resignation while noting he "bears no personal responsibility" for the leak, the Vatican said.

The Argentine pontiff was furious over the publication of an internal police notice which featured the photographs of five Vatican employees -- including two senior figures -- targeted in a probe reportedly into a real estate deal.

The notice, addressed to the Swiss guards and Vatican policemen who guard the gates of the tiny city state, said they had been suspended "as a precaution" while the investigation was carried out.

"This publication was prejudicial to the dignity of the people involved and to the image of the Gendarmerie (police)," said the Vatican, which has opened a probe into the leak.

Giani was dubbed the pope's "guardian angel" by the media.

He served three pontiffs and could be seen on papal trips, dressed in a dark suit, standing close to the head of the Catholic Church or running beside the popemobile.

The 57-year old began his career in the Italian secret service, before joining the Vatican security forces 20 years ago and taking over as chief in 2006.

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