Pope's butler gets 18 months in prison

2012-10-06 12:37
Pope Benedict XVI's butler Paolo Gabriele, right, carries the pontiff's bags as they arrive at Ciampino military airport in Rome. (File, AP)

Pope Benedict XVI's butler Paolo Gabriele, right, carries the pontiff's bags as they arrive at Ciampino military airport in Rome. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Vatican City - Pope Benedict XVI's former butler Paolo Gabriele on Saturday got 18 months in prison for stealing secret documents from the Vatican that reveal fraud and intrigue in the tiny state.

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

"In the name of his holiness Pope Benedict XVI, who reigns in glory, and invoking the Holy Trinity... this court sentences the defendant to three years in prison," the judge said as Gabriele looked on impassively.

"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.

Sensitive documents


Gabriele was found guilty of stealing hundreds of sensitive Vatican documents from the pope's palace, including letters from cardinals and politicians and papers that the pontiff himself had marked "To Be Destroyed".

The Vatican's prosecutor, Nicola Picardi, had called for the former butler to go to jail for three years.

"It was a good sentence," said Gabriele's lawyer Cristiana Arru, who added that she would "have to evaluate" whether her client would appeal the ruling which brought to an end an expeditious trial that began just a week ago.

In his final statement, Gabriele said he had "acted out of visceral love for the church of Christ and of its leader on earth."

"I do not feel that I am a thief," he added, as Arru called on the judge to be lenient on a man who was driven by "a moral motivation" and who had by no means cooked up a "scheme or plot" aimed at damaging the church or the pope.

The former butler had claimed from the start that he wanted to root out "evil and corruption" at the heart of the Roman Catholic Church after observing that the 85-year-old pontiff was not well informed and perhaps even "manipulated".

Using the codename "Maria", Gabriele met with an Italian journalist over several months and passed him the confidential documents.

He had admitted responsibility for the leaks. While claiming to be "innocent" of the charge of theft, he said he felt "guilty" of betraying the trust the pope had placed in him.

The personal letter he wrote to Benedict to ask for his forgiveness no doubt influenced the judge's decision to cut his sentence in half.

Many experts have said he may receive a pardon from the pope, who has been following the case closely.

Read more on:    paolo gabriele  |  pope benedict xvi  |  pope francis  |  vatican city
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
28 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Cape Town - 16:15 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
  • Friday Kuils River - 09:28 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Legal Librarian

Cape Winelands
Hi-Tech Recruitment (JHB)
R340 000 - R300 000 Per Month

Head: Marketing and Communications

Cape Town
DAV Professional Placement Group

Sales Consultant

Cape Town
Mobile Recruitment
R4 000 - R5 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2790.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be putting too much effort into someone or something. You are doing it out of love and compassion but there is a chance...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.