Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Air Algerie investigation continues

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

UNRWA official breaks down over Gaza deaths

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

FOCUS

Constitution prohibits Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

War and Markets, with Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank

Read more

  • Kerry, Ban announce 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • Investigators reach MH17 site amid 24-hour ceasefire

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further €1.9 billion to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

Europe

Computer programmer convicted in Vatican leaks case

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-11-11

A Vatican court convicted a computer programmer on Saturday of helping Pope Benedict XVI's former butler, Paolo Gabriele (right), leak confidential papers. Claudio Sciarpelletti received five years of probation and a two-month suspended sentence.

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.

The leaks, which were published in a book by an Italian journalist, revealed fierce infighting in the highest echelons of the Catholic Church and allegations of fraud in the running of the Vatican, the world's smallest state.

Gabriele said he had acted out of loyalty to the Church and to root out "evil and corruption" from the Vatican, telling judges at his own trial last month that he believed the pope was poorly informed on important issues.

The apparent ease with which documents were smuggled out of the Vatican has surprised observers, and Italian media reports say there could have been a wider conspiracy of disgruntled employees beyond Gabriele and Sciarpelletti.

Investigators said they found a mysterious envelope bearing the official stamp of the Holy See in a drawer in Sciarpelletti's desk. It contained copies of some of the confidential documents which later appeared in the book.

Sciarpelletti said he never opened the envelope but was unclear about who had given it to him, initially telling investigators it was Gabriele and later saying he had received it from a prelate named only as "W" in court documents.

The envelope's contents criticised the Vatican police force's powerful chief Domenico Giani and alleged that two officers from the corps also held stakes in private security firms in Italy in a possible conflict of interest.

The case has lifted a lid on unease in the Vatican about the growing power of the gendarmerie and tensions between the 150-person police corps and the Swiss Guards, the traditional defenders of the papacy since the 16th century.

The trial in the Vatican's tiny courtroom has been followed by a group of 10 journalists and no cameras were allowed to protect the defendant's privacy.

The two trials into the "Vatileaks" case have been the biggest in the modern history of the Vatican, whose court normally only tries cases of petty theft targeting the millions of tourists who visit the famous city state every year.

The investigation into the leaks case is ongoing and Vatican prosecutors have said they do not rule out filing more serious charges of violation of state secrets.

(AFP)

Date created : 2012-11-10

  • VATICAN CITY

    ‘Vatileaks’ butler sentenced to 18 months in prison

    Read more

  • VATICAN

    Pope's butler pleads innocent to theft charges

    Read more

  • VATICAN

    Vatican hires Fox News journalist to improve PR strategy

    Read more

COMMENT(S)