Pope Benedict’s ex-butler Paolo Gabriele has been found guilty of stealing confidential papers and sentenced to 18 months in jail.
Prosecutors had called for a three-year sentence but it was reduced because of “mitigating circumstances”.
Speaking before the verdict, he said he acted out of love for the Church and did not see himself as a thief.
Gabriele had denied the theft charge but admitted photocopying documents and “betraying the Holy Father’s trust”.
Defence lawyer Christina Arru had asked for the charge to be reduced, but described the sentence as “good” and “balanced”.
She said she would wait for the written judgement before deciding whether to appeal.
Gabriele is “very likely” to be pardoned by Pope Benedict, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said, though it is not clear when this might happen.
The former butler was accused of stealing and copying the Pope’s documents and leaking them to an Italian journalist…