(ANSA) - Milan, March 7 - Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi was
handed a one-year prison term by a Milan court on Thursday for
involvement in the publication of an illegally obtained wiretap
in his brother Paolo's conservative newspaper Il Giornale.
Paolo Berlusconi was given a sentence of two years, three
months in the first ruling on the case.
In Italy prison sentences for non-violent crimes do not
usually become effective until the two-tier appeals system has
The wiretap concerned a conversation in 2005 between one
of Berlusconi's political opponents, Piero Fassino, the then
head of the former centre-left Democratic Left (DS) party, and
Giovanni Consorte, the former chairman of Unipol, an association
of insurers historically linked to the DS, the heir to Italy's
At the time Unipol came close to taking over one of
Italy's leading banks, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), and
Fassino was recorded as saying "we have a bank!".
Fassino, now mayor of Turin, was widely criticised for the
comment, especially among the rank and file of the DS, which has
since turned into a larger centre-left group, the Democratic
The court ordered Silvio and Paolo Berlusconi to pay 80,000
euros in damages to Fassino.