Vatican bans controversial author from covering conclave
Vatican City, March 12 : The Vatican has denied accreditation to report on the papal conclave to an Italian journalist who wrote a book based on leaked confidential letters and documents belonging to Pope Benedict XVI.
Gianluigi Nuzzi was given no explanation from the Vatican when it called him to say it had turned down his request for accreditation.
Nuzzi criticised the Vatican's decision on microblogging website Twitter.
"It's an obscurantist choice - so much for transparency and freedom of the press," he said in a tweet.
The documents published in Nuzzi's book "Sua Santita" (His Holiness) were leaked by Benedict's former butler Paolo Gabriele.
They exposed corruption and venomous power struggle inside the Vatican, including over its scandal-plagued bank.
The documents included faxes, letters and internal memos.
Gabriele was jailed for 18 months over the leaked photocopied documents but was pardoned by Benedict in December.
Around 5,600 members of the world's press have been accredited to follow the conclave to elect Benedict's successor which began Tuesday.
Benedict, aged 85, abdicated Feb 28, saying he was too frail to continue to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.