MADRID (AP) — The former electrician for Spain's famed cathedral in Santiago de Compostela went on trial Monday for the alleged theft of a priceless 12th-century Codex Calixtinus, considered the first guide for Christians making the pilgrimage to venerate St. James.
Jose Manuel Fernandez Castineiras appeared in court with his wife and son. Authorities said they found the Codex in his garage in 2012 and recovered 1.2 million euros ($1.4 million).
His lawyer Carmen Ventoso argued that evidence should be thrown out — including a confession by Castineiras and security video appearing to show him in a cathedral office stuffing money into his pants pockets.
The richly-decorated Codex went missing in 2011. Authorities said they also found other valuable religious works.
The pilgrimage across northern Spain to the cathedral in the northwestern Galicia region was inspired by the reputed discovery of the apostle's tomb around the year 800 and it remains popular.