Vatican computer expert guilty

A Vatican computer expert has been found guilty of obstruction of justice in the investigation of leaks of sensitive papal documents. Claudio Sciarpelletti was given a two-month suspended sentence by the Vatican court.

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Probe into Vatican leaks case 'isn't closed'

Paolo Gabriele and Claudio Sciarpelletti are the only Vatican employees to be formally investigated in the leaks case, which distressed the Pope, embarrassed Vatican hierarchy and left many wondering about the competence of the Holy See's security apparatus.

Today IT expert Claudio Sciarpelletti was given a two-month suspended sentence by the Vatican court.

St Peter's Square, Vatican City. Credit: REUTERS

Vatican spokesman the Rev Federico Lombardi told reporters after the verdict that the probe into the leak "isn't closed", but gave no indication of whether any other suspects existed.

Sciarpelletti was convicted of aiding and abetting Gabriele by giving conflicting statements to Vatican investigators about an envelope found in his desk, addressed to Gabriele.

Judge Giuseppe Dalla Torre cited Sciarpelletti's long years of service at the Vatican in suspending the sentence as well as ordering that the criminal conviction not appear on his record.

The judge said the court concluded that Sciarpelletti had helped Gabriele "elude the investigations of the authorities" at the Vatican.

Computer technician obstructed justice in papal leaks case

Paolo Gabriele engineered the leak of secret papal documents. Credit: Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters

Claudio Sciarpelletti had been charged with aiding and abetting Pope Benedict XVI's butler in the leaking of confidential papers.

But the court decided Sciarpelletti was guilty only of obstruction of justice because he had changed his version of events several times during the investigation.

The disgraced former butler, Paolo Gabriele, was last month sentenced to 18 months in prison for the embarrassing leaks, which were published by an Italian journalist.

They revealed infighting at the top of the Catholic Church and allegations of fraud.


Ex-papal butler spared jail

Pope Benedict's former butler, Paolo Gabriele, will serve his sentence under house arrest in his Vatican apartment while awaiting a possible papal pardon, his lawyer said.

Cristiana Arru said the Vatican's promoter of justice, or prosecutor, had agreed to the conditions after a court handed down a sentence of 18 months. Otherwise, Gabriele would have had to go to an Italian jail since the Vatican has no such facility.


Reduced sentence for Pope's former butler as he admits betrayal

Paolo Gabriele's sentence was reduced to 18 months from three years because of mitigating circumstances, including that Gabriele had no previous record, had worked for years for the Holy See.

Gabriele also acknowledged that he had betrayed the Pope and was convinced, "albeit erroneously" that he was doing the right thing, according to Judge Giusppe Dalla Torre.

Gabriele was accused of stealing the pope's private correspondence and passing it on to journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, whose book revealed the intrigue, petty infighting and allegations of corruption and homosexual liaisons that plague the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope's butler leaked documents to journalist

The Pope's former butler has been convicted of stealing the pontiff's private documents and leaking them to a journalist, and has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Pope Benedict XVI leaves Oscott College in Birmingham during his visit in 2010 Credit: Leon Neal/PA

Judge Giuseppe Dalla Torre read the verdict aloud today, one hour after the three-judge panel began deliberating Paolo Gabriele's fate.

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