pardon for bulter found guilty of theft is possible
by Joseph Ernest October 6, 2012
Media VATICAN—The trial against Pope Benedict XVI's former butler, Paolo Gabriele,
concluded Saturday morning, with a guilty verdict and 18 month prison
sentence. However the Holy See Press Office director, Fr. Federico
Lombardi, has not ruled out the possibility of a Papal pardon.
the fourth and final hearing the President of the Vatican Court – Judge
dalla Torre - read out the verdict finding the defendant guilty of
aggravated theft of the Holy Father’s personal and private documents.
present said the accused listened impassively to the sentence after
earlier declaring he did not see himself as a thief and adding he had
acted "out of love for the Church and for its leader on earth." During
his final statement to the court, Gabriele confirmed he had acted alone
and without accomplices.
The charge of aggravated theft usually
carries a sentence of four years in prison. However the court took into
account extenuating circumstances: these include Gabriele’s claim - even
if erroneous - that he was acting for the good of the Church and his
admission of having wounded the Holy Father.
A partial ban was handed
down on any future employment. Should Gabriele remain a Vatican
employee he will not be allowed to work in any offices that deal with "
judicial, administrative or legal" affairs.
Paolo Gabriele's lawyer
has not ruled out the possibility of appealing the sentence, given what
she has described as "holes" in the judicial investigation. However Ms
Arrua also described Saturday’s verdict as "balanced".
For now she
said Paolo Gabriele will remain under house arrest in his family home in
Vatican City State. The Court must meet again to decide if and when
Gabriel will be imprisoned.
The Director of the Vatican Press
Office, Fr Federico Lombardi, praised the "total independence" of the
Vatican court and the speed with which it arrived at the sentence -
which he described as "clement and just". He also left open the
possibility of a pardon by Pope Benedict XVI.Add