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Pope Benedict likely to pardon his former butler, Vatican says

VATICAN CITY, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Pope Benedict will "most likely" pardon his former butler, a Vatican spokesman said on Saturday after Paolo Gabriele was sentenced to 18 months in jail for stealing sensitive documents.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi also told reporters 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)(Reuters Messaging: naomi.oleary.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: POPE BUTLER/PARDON