Vatican Court Convicts Programmer in Leaks Scandal

Posted November 10th, 2012 at 6:35 pm (UTC-5)
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A Vatican court has convicted a computer programmer employed by the Holy See of helping the former papal butler create a series of information leaks that embarrassed Pope Benedict.

The court on Saturday then handed 48-year-old programmer Claudio Sciarpelletti a suspended sentence of two months in prison and five years' probation.

The three-judge panel convicted the programmer on a single count of aiding and abetting. The sentence was then published by the Vatican press office.

Pope Benedict's former butler, Paolo Gabriele, was convicted last month of aggravated theft at a separate trial and sentenced to 18 months in jail for stealing sensitive papal documents and leaking them to the media. He kept some confidential information on his computer.

One of the pope's closest household assistants, Gabriele admitted leaking the documents in what he said was an attempt to help disclose corruption and “evil” in the headquarters of the 1.2 billion-member Roman Catholic Church.

The leaks scandal triggered one of the biggest crises of Pope Benedict's papacy, embarrassing the Vatican at a time when it was struggling to overcome an international child sex abuse scandal involving clerics, and separate controversy involving mismanagement at its bank.