Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to one year after being convicted of breach of confidentiality for the illegal publication of wiretapped conversations related to a failed bank takeover in a newspaper owned by his brother.
The court sentenced him to one year in jail, but issued no orders on the carrying out of the sentence.
Berlusconi’s brother, Paolo Berlusconi, was convicted of the same charge and sentenced to two years and three months. Paolo Berlusconi is publisher of the Milan newspaper il Giornale, which published the transcript of the conversation.
Prosecutors brought the wiretap case after a transcript of a phone conversation intercepted by the authorities was published in the newspaper Il Giornale, owned by Mr Berlusconi’s brother Paolo.
The conversation took place between the head of insurer Unipol and Piero Fassino, who was the leader of the biggest centre-left party and Mr Berlusconi’s biggest political rival at the time.
Unipol was trying to take over BNL bank in 2005. Magistrates had ordered the wiretap as part of an investigation into inappropriate interference in the takeover.
The publication of the transcript in a national newspaper broke secrecy rules, and Mr Berlusconi was accused of obtaining the transcript from the wiretap company used by magistrates.
Silvio Berlusconi’s defense team had accused the court of seeking a speedy verdict for political impact.He is likely to appeal against the sentence .