Claudio Sciarpelletti told the chief judge, Giuseppe della Torre, that his arrest on charges of aiding the papal butler in leaking documents to the news media sent him into a state of "shock" and "panic," NBC News reported. He said his state of mind was to blame for his giving investigators misleading statements.
The former butler, Paolo Gabriele, was sentenced in October to 18 months in jail, although Vatican officials have hinted Pope Benedict XVI might show leniency. Della Torre initially imposed a four-month sentence on Sciarpelletti, cut it in half because of his clean record and then suspended the sentence.
Vatican investigators found an envelope of documents on Sciarpelletti's desk in May. Gabriele said he was the source of the documents.