Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • French teenage girls held over Syria jihad plans

    Read more

  • Good borders make good neighbours, Merkel tells Ukraine

    Read more

  • Iceland issues aviation alert on volcano activity

    Read more

  • France will not be 'be pushed around' by Germany

    Read more

  • Libya withdraws as Africa Cup of Nations host

    Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Suicide bomber targets Iraq intelligence HQ in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Video: Israel bombs kidnapping suspect’s home

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • Ebola prompts Philippines to recall UN troops in Liberia

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • US sued over ‘deportation mill’ in New Mexico

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels in face-to-face talks

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Ferguson

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • US job market yet to recover from recession, says Fed Chair

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

Europe

‘Vatileaks’ butler sentenced to 18 months in prison

Latest update : 2012-10-06

Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler Paolo Gabriele (pictured right) was sentenced Saturday to 18 months in prison after being found guilty of stealing secret papal files from the Vatican, however it is believed a pardon is likely.

The pope’s butler was convicted Saturday of stealing the pontiff’s private documents and leaking them to a journalist in the gravest Vatican security breach in recent memory. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, but the Vatican said a papal pardon was likely.

Judge Giuseppe Dalla Torre read the verdict aloud two hours after the three-judge Vatican panel began deliberating Paolo Gabriele’s fate. Gabriele stood impassively as it was read out in the tiny wood-paneled tribunal tucked behind St. Peter’s Basilica.

The sentence was reduced in half to 18 months from three years because of a series of mitigating circumstances, including that Gabriele had no previous record, had acknowledged that he had betrayed the pope and was convinced, “albeit erroneously” that he was doing the right thing, Dalla Torre said.

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.

He has said he leaked the documents because he felt the pope wasn’t being informed of the “evil and corruption” in the Vatican, and that exposing the problems publicly would put the church back on the right track.

In his final appeal to the court Saturday morning, Gabriele insisted he was no thief.

“The thing I feel strongly in me is the conviction that I acted out of exclusive love, I would say visceral love, for the church of Christ and its visible head,” Gabriele told the court in a steady voice. “I do not feel like a thief.”

Gabriele’s attorney, Cristiana Arru, said the sentence was “good, balanced” and said she was awaiting the judges’ written reasoning before deciding whether to appeal.

Nuzzi’s book, “His Holiness: Pope Benedict XVI’s Secret Papers” convulsed the Vatican for months and prompted an unprecedented response, with the pope naming a commission of cardinals to investigate the origin of the leaks alongside Vatican magistrates.

Arru said Gabriele would return to his Vatican City apartment to begin serving his sentence. He has been held on house arrest there since July after spending his first two months in a Vatican detention room.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the possibility of a papal pardon was “concrete, likely” and that the pope would now study the court file and decide. He said there was no way to know when a papal pardon might be announced.

Gabriele was also ordered to pay court costs.

In something of a novelty in jurisprudence, the pope was both victim and

supreme judge in this case. As an absolute monarch of the tiny Vatican City state, Benedict wields full executive, legislative and judicial power. He delegates that power, though, and Lombardi said the trial showed the complete independence of the Vatican judiciary.

In reading the sentence, however, in a courtroom decorated with a photograph of Benedict on the wall opposite Gabriele, Dalla Torre began: “In the name of His Holiness Benedict XVI, gloriously reigning, the tribunal invoking the Holy Trinity pronounces the following sentence...”

In her closing arguments, Arru insisted that only photocopies, not original documents, were taken from the Apostolic Palace, disputing testimony from the pope’s secretary who said he saw original letters in the evidence seized from Gabriele’s home.

She admitted Gabriele’s gesture was “condemnable” but said it was a misappropriation of documents, not theft, and that as a result Gabriele should serve no time for the lesser crime.

(AP)

Date created : 2012-10-06

  • VATICAN

    Pope's butler pleads innocent to theft charges

    Read more

  • CATHOLIC CHURCH

    Pope’s former butler on trial for theft of papal files

    Read more

  • LEBANON

    Pope appeals for global peace at open-air Mass in Lebanon

    Read more

COMMENT(S)