AC Milan Owner Silvio Berlusconi Sentenced To One Year In Prison

Silvio Berlusconi celebrating a Champions League Final victory with AC Milan
Silvio Berlusconi celebrating a Champions League Final victory with AC Milan

AC Milan owner and former Italian prime minister was on Thursday sentenced to a year in prison by an Italian court on Thursday over the publication of leaked transcripts from a police wiretap in a newspaper owned by him.

Berlusconi, who faces two more verdicts this month for tax fraud and having s*x with an underage prostitute, can appeal the conviction which would suspend the sentence under Italian law.

Italian sentencing guidelines indicate that people aged over 75 and with sentences of less than two years do not have to actually go to prison. Berlusconi is 76.

He stood accused of violating secrecy laws after his Il Giornale daily published transcripts in 2005 about the attempted takeover of BNL bank by insurance giant Unipol, transcripts that were widely seen as an attempt to discredit a senior member of the centre-left Democratic Party ahead of elections in 2006.
Berlusconi’s brother Paolo, editor of Il Giornale, who doubles as the Vice President of the billionaire’s football club, was sentenced to two years and three months.

Silvio Berlusconi also faces a verdict possibly as early as March 18 as he stands trial for allegedly having s*x with a then 17-year-old prostitute when he was prime minister and then abusing the power of his office by putting pressure on police to release her from custody.

A verdict in his appeal trial against a tax fraud conviction from last year in which he was also sentenced to a year in prison is also expected around March 23.

If he had to go to prison after his Thursday sentence, he’d be watching his team’s 2nd leg clash with Barcelona at Camp Nou from the yard. If nothing is going on well for the business tycoon, AC Milan is. The Italian giants go into the UEFA Champions league round of 16 2nd leg next week, with a 2-goal lead over Barcelona. [AFP]