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Vatileaks accomplice given suspended sentence

A computer technician convicted of obstructing justice during the probe into stolen Vatican documents has been given a suspended sentence. The documents were leaked by the Pope's former butler to the press.

epa03412658 A handout picture released by the L'Osservatore Romano on 27 September 2012 shows the interior view of the Vatican court. The trial of Paolo Gabriele and Claudio Sciarpelletti for their alleged part in leaking Vatican documents, allegedly exposing corruption, is scheduled for 29 September 2012 in the Vatican City. Gabriele was arrested in May 2012 after Vatican police found Vatican documents and other items in his Vatican apartment. Sciarpelletti, who had a copy of a document from Gabriele in his desk at the Vatican Secretariat of State, was charged with aiding and abetting Gabriele. EPA/L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Vatikan Gerichtssaal

A Vatican court on Saturday handed imposed a two-month suspended sentence on Claudio Sciarpelletti for his role in what is being called the Vatileaks scandal.

The suspended sentence is set to last five years, said Giuseppe Dalla Torre, the presiding judge in the case.

The court ruled that Sciarpelletti had helped Pope Benedict XVI's former butler, Paolo Gabriele, leak sensitive Vatican documents to the press. Sciarpelletti said he played no part in the leak.

Gabriele is serving 18 months in jail for stealing the documents, saying it was an attempt to expose corruption in the Catholic Church.

The information contained in the documents made its way into a book by an Italian journalist about alleged corruption at the Vatican.

mz/ipj (Reuters, AP, dpa)