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Berlusconi sentenced to one-year jail term in wiretap transcript case

English.news.cn   2013-03-07 21:18:31            
 • A court in Milan on Thursday sentenced Berlusconi to one year in jail.
 • Berlusconi's younger brother was also handed a prison term of two years and three months.
 • Berlusconi has always denied any wrongdoing claiming to be the victim of left-wing judges.

ITALY-BERLUSCONI-SENTENCE
A file photo taken on Jan. 9, 2013 shows Silvio Berlusconi attending a RAI1 TV show in Rome, capital of Italy. Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to a year in prison over illegal publication of police wiretap transcripts, an Italian court ruled on Thursday. (Xinhua/Alberto Lingria)

MILAN, March 7 (Xinhua) -- A court in Milan on Thursday sentenced Italy's four-time premier Silvio Berlusconi to one year in jail for his involvement in the publication of a wiretap transcript in his brother's newspaper.

Berlusconi's younger brother, Paolo, the publisher of right wing newspaper Il Giornale, was also handed a prison term of two years and three months for the publication of the illegally-obtained transcript that was part of an investigation into a failed takeover bid.

The wiretap featured a conversation in 2005 between Piero Fassino, a center-left political opponent of Berlusconi, and Giovanni Consorte, the former chairman of Unipol insurance group, historically linked to the Italian left.

Fassino, who is today the mayor of Turin, was recorded as saying "we have a bank" while Unipol was close to taking over one of Italy's most important banks, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro.

The court also ordered that Silvio and Paolo Berlusconi would have to pay 80,000 euros (104,000 U.S. dollars) in damages to Fassino.

"I think this is the first time that someone is sentenced for violation of obligation to maintain secrecy of disclosures in legal hearings," one of Berlusconi's lawyers, Piero Longo, was quoted as saying by Milan-based Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Jail sentences for non-violent crimes do not usually become effective in Italy until the two-tier appeals system has reached a conclusion.

The 76-year-old media entrepreneur, who was the Italian premier for almost 10 years and has achieved surprising success in February's national elections, has faced over 30 trials. Various are still underway ranging from corruption to paying a minor for sex.

Berlusconi has always denied any wrongdoing claiming to be the victim of left-wing judges. However, none of the cases ended with a final verdict either because he was acquitted or because trials were timed out or overturned.

Related:

Italy's Berlusconi acquitted in alleged tax fraud case

ROME, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Italy's Court of Cassation on Wednesday definitely acquitted four-time premier Silvio Berlusconi of an alleged fraud over inflated prices for television rights involving his Mediaset media company.

Berlusconi's eldest son Pier Silvio and nine other defendants were also acquitted, the ANSA news agency said late in the evening. Full story

Editor: Fang Yang
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