An Italian appeals court has upheld a corruption conviction against Cesare Previti, who was defence minister in Silvio Berlusconi’s first government in 1994.It confirmed a five-year jail sentence for Previti, convicted of paying 370,000 euros to a judge to win favourable rulings in unspecified cases. The judge Renato Squillante also faces a seven-year jail term. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was indicted in the same case, but then saved from conviction when a court last year chose to invoke a statute of limitations, meaning time had run out to sentence him because he had a clean criminal record. Previti and Berlusconi were acquitted of bribing judges to stop the state food company SME being sold to one of Berlusconi’s rivals. A newly-approved law means Previti would be allowed to serve any prison sentences at home under house arrest.