Sunday, Apr 19, 2015Sunday, Apr 19, 2015

Pope's butler convicted, gets 18 months prison

Published on Oct 6, 2012 6:37 PM
Handout photo obtained on September 29, 2012 from the Osservatore Romano shows Pope Benedict XVI's former butler Paolo Gabriele (Right) sitting in a courtroom for the start of a closely-watched case for aggravated theft. He was sentenced to 18 months' in prison on Saturday. -- PHOTO: AFP

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - The pope's former butler Paolo Gabriele was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Saturday for stealing secret documents from the Vatican that revealed fraud and intrigue in the tiny state.

He will serve his sentence under house arrest in his Vatican apartment while awaiting a possible papal pardon, his lawyer Cristiana Arru said on Saturday.

Presiding judge Giuseppe Dalla Torre gave the former butler three years but immediately cut the sentence to 18 months on the grounds of service rendered to the Catholic Church in the past and his apology to the pope for betraying him.

"Considering the absence of a criminal record, of the subjective though erroneous motivation, and the acknowledgement of having betrayed the trust of the holy father, it reduces the sentence to one year and six months," he added.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!