The pope's former butler Paolo Gabriele may still be pardoned by Benedict XVI for stealing confidential Catholic Church documents, Vatican watchers say.
"A papal pardon remains a possibility, but we cannot predict if, how and when," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Tuesday.
Gabriele was sentenced to 18 months earlier this month for stealing private papal correspondence and is currently under house arrest.
Lombardi spoke to the press on Tuesday, outlining details of how its judges had reached their October 6th ruling.
Gabriele was sharply criticised by the judges for harming the pope, the Holy See and the entire Catholic Church, Lombardi said.
The judges accepted Gabriele's statement that he had no accomplices and acted alone.
Claims from Gabriele that he was mistreated in custody are still being probed, the Vatican spokesman said.