TODAY | October 06, 2012
>> it's a scandal that fascinated catholics worldwide. the pope's former butler on trial for leaking documents to the press. this morning, he learned his fate. dunn began golestani is in london.
>> he said he was acting out of love for the catholic church and said it wasn't theft, but this morning, vatican judges disagreed, they found him guilty and sentenced him to 18 months in prison. wherever the pope went, his butler was nearby, up front in the pope mobile or by his side at dinner. paolo was so trusted, he was one of the few people to have a key to the pontiff's apartment. so close he was able to take thousands of confidential couples.
>> for the pope, i think it was a betrayal of trust. paolo got the early sense of that himself. for the vatican , i don't think anyone's too worried about what was actually in the documents. it's the fact that the documents were taken from the pope's apartment.
>> in court, he admitted taking personal letters and documents belonging to the pope. papers his boss asked to be destroyed. but according to police, they found them stashed in the butler's apartment instead. the 46-year-old passed the documents on to an investigative journalist. causing embarrassment for the church with allegations of financial corruption and cover-up. he claims he saw evil and corruption everywhere at the church and acted alone to root it out.
>> he's right, maybe the corruption should be out. we should know about the vatican because there's been stuff going on that no one knows about for so long that it's about time we really find out. he should be a hero.
>> reporter: did he act alone? many vatican watchers say no and one author claims the case marks a wider power struggle .
>> it is clear that there is not only one man, but a group of employees of the vatican who are following a line of underground opposition.
>> reporter: whether he had help or not, paolo gabrielli briefly exposed the secrets on this center of catholic faith and power. he is now under house arrest at his apartment, and in the last few minutes, a vatican spokesman has said there is a real possibility the pope will give forgiveness and issue a pardon. lester?