The Straits Times
Published on Nov 10, 2012

Vatican court convicts accomplice in leaks scandal


VATICAN CITY (AFP) - A Vatican court on Saturday convicted a computer programmer working in the tiny state of helping Pope Benedict XVI's butler leak confidential papers in a scandal that has embarrassed the Vatican.

The court handed 48-year-old Claudio Sciarpelletti a suspended sentence of two months in prison with a probationary term of five years, meaning that if he respects the terms of his probation he will likely not have to go to prison.

Sciarpelletti's trial comes just weeks after the disgraced former butler, Paolo Gabriele, was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison for engineering the leaks of secret letters and memos from the papal residence.

Sciarpelletti has worked for the past 20 years in the Secretariat of State - effectively the government of the Roman Catholic Church - and was responsible for maintenance on all the computers used by Vatican employees.