Pope's ex-butler jailed for theft

  • Pope Benedict's former butler Paolo Gabriele has been found guilty of stealing confidential papers from him and sentenced to 18 months in jail.

    Prosecutors on Saturday had called for a three-year sentence but it was reduced due to "mitigating circumstances".

    Ahead of the verdict, Gabriele stated he acted out of love for the Church and did not see himself as a thief.

    He denied the charges of theft but admitted photocopying documents and "betraying the Holy Father's trust".

    Gabriele was charged with aggravated theft in May after a series of leaks, nicknamed “Vatileaks”, exposed alleged corruption, cronyism and internal conflict within the Holy See.

    The 46-year-old has now returned to house arrest inside his Vatican apartment, where he was confined for several months.