Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been convicted and sentenced to one year in prison over an illegal wire tap.
Berlusconi was found guilty of making preparations for the leaking of a police wire tap concerning a political rival, to be published in a newspaper run by his brother.
The police wire tap was part of an inquest into an unsuccessful bid to take over the Banca Nazionale by the insurer Unipol.
The conviction of Berlusconi was read in a Milan court by a judge. According to Italian law he is not expected to serve any jail term until all possible appeal trials have been finished.
Despite the risks of prosecution, wiretapped conversations are widely published in the Italian media, and the former PM is likely to appeal against his convictions in court.
In numerous trials over the years, Berlusconi has been accused on charges of poor accounting, fraud over the sale of film rights, perjury, bribery, corruption and having unlawful sex with a minor.
He denies all the accusations against him and says he is the “target of a vendetta by politically biased prosecutors”.
He is presently appealing against a tax fraud conviction and will face a verdict in a sex trial for allegedly paying an underage teen later in March.