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MADRID – The former electrician for Spain's famed cathedral in Santiago de Compostela is on trial 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 Monday with his wife and son. Authorities say they found the Codex in his garage in 2012 and recovered 1.2 million euros ($1.4 million).
His lawyer Carmen Ventoso is arguing 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 pilgrimage across northern Spain to the cathedral, inspired by the reputed discovery of the apostle's tomb around the year 800, remains popular.