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Under Italian law, Silvio Berlusconi, the 76-year-old media billionaire will not have to serve any jail time until the appeals process has been exhausted. (Reuters)
Under Italian law, Silvio Berlusconi, the 76-year-old media billionaire will not have to serve any jail time until the appeals process has been exhausted. (Reuters)

italy

Berlusconi gets jail in wiretap trial Add to ...

An Italian court sentenced former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on Thursday to one year in jail for the publication of the transcript of a leaked wiretap connected to a banking scandal in 2006.

Under Italian law, the 76-year-old media billionaire will not have to serve any jail time until the appeals process has been exhausted. However, judicial sources said the charges will expire in mid-September, before an appeal trial can be completed, because of the statute of limitations. So it is unlikely that Mr. Berlusconi will serve time in jail.

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The verdict came during a political impasse arising from last week’s election, which left no party able to form a government on its own – although Mr. Berlusconi’s centre-right party emerged as the second strongest in Parliament.

Following Thursday’s verdict, he said the decision showed that politically motivated judges were conducting a campaign against him. “It is impossible to tolerate judicial persecution of this kind, which has been going on for 20 years and which re-emerges every time there are politically complex moments in the political life of our country,” he said in a statement.

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