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Berlusconi convicted over illegal wiretap

AC Milan president and former Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, has been sentenced to a year in jail over an illegal wiretap after a court found him guilty on Thursday.

Berlusconi, 76, had been accused of arranging for a police wiretap of a political rival which was then published by the Il Giornale newspaper run by his brother Paolo, who has been sentenced to two years and three months in prison.

The conversation was reportedly between Piero Fassino, the head of the former centre-left Democratic Left (DS) party, and Giovanni Consorte, the former chairman of Unipol, an association of insurers, and related to the 2005 banking scandal.

Berlusconi, who has denied any wrongdoing, will seek to have the decision overturned before a court of appeal, while he is also waiting to hear whether his appeal has been successful over a one-year sentence imposed on him for tax fraud in October last year.

In another separate incident, the former Prime Minister is also awaiting a trial concerning allegations that he paid for sex with an underage prostitute.

The BBC reports that Berlusconi is likely to remain free while awaiting the outcome of his various appeals and that there is little actual chance of him serving time in prison.