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Pope Benedict likely to pardon his former butler, Vatican says

VATICAN CITY, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Pope Benedict will "mostlikely" pardon his former butler, a Vatican spokesman said onSaturday after Paolo Gabriele was sentenced to 18 months in jailfor stealing sensitive documents.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi also toldreporters the court reached its verdict in "full independence"without any interference from Vatican officials.

(Reporting by Naomi O'Leary)

((naomi.oleary@thomsonreuters.com)(+39 06 8522 4392)(ReutersMessaging: naomi.oleary.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: POPE BUTLER/PARDON

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