Gabriele was convicted in October of stealing the Pope's private documents and leaking them to a journalist who wrote a best-selling book based on them. The book presented Vatican conspiracies, infighting, and corruption, such as the awarding of crony contracts that cost the Holy See millions of dollars. Gabriele is currently serving an 18-month sentence in a Vatican jail cell.
Gabriele did not receive any compensation for passing along the material, and said he was motivated by his love for the Pope, whom he believed was being manipulated.
Sciarpelletti, 48, was arrested for a short time in May after his lawyer said an anonymous tip led to the search of his desk. An envelope was found addressed to Gabriele containing copies of documents that had been leaked to the Italian media.
The computer technician is being represented by Gianluca Benedetti, who argued in court this morning that his client was in an "emotional state" when he gave confused and contradictory testimony to investigators, leading to the charges leveled against him.
Sciarpelletti was only briefly arrested, and news of his arrest was not even known until the indictment against Gabriele came down in August. Before that, the Vatican said there were no others involved in the Gabriele affair. Since the indictment against the butler was made public, it has maintained that Sciarpelletti's role was "marginal."
The prosecution's case rests in part on allegations from an anonymous source that Gabriele and Sciarpelletti were in frequent contact, which could suggest cooperation in leaking Vatican documents.