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Second defendant in Vatican leaks case drops appeal; Vatican tribunal explains guilty verdict

The Vatican computer expert convicted along with the pope's former butler in the Holy See's leaks scandal has dropped his appeal.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Claudio Sciarpelletti had initially appealed his conviction of aiding and abetting the former butler.

But Lombardi said Saturday Sciarpelletti subsequently dropped the appeal, perhaps after considering the "benevolent" suspended two-month sentence he received from the Vatican tribunal.

Sciarpelletti was convicted Nov. 10 of obstructing the Vatican's investigation into Paolo Gabriele, the pope's former butler who was convicted of stealing Benedict's private correspondence and leaking it to a journalist. The embarrassing security breach convulsed the Vatican for months and prompted an unprecedented investigation and trial.

Gabriele is serving an 18-month sentence in a Vatican jail, awaiting a possible papal pardon. The investigation remains open.

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