Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to one year in jail over illegal wiretapping.
The prosecution accused the owner of AC Milan of arranging for a police wiretap of a political rival to be leaked to a newspaper owned by his brother.
The conversation was between the former centre-left leader Piero Fassino and head of the insurance group Unipol and related to a bank takeover.
Berlusconi has the right of appeal and the Italian justice system rules mean that the 76-year-old media billionaire would not have to serve any jail time until the appeals process has been exhausted.
A higher court may still overturn the ruling.
The verdict was immediately criticised by Berlusconi’s lawyer Piero Longo: “I’m not surprised, given that it’s Milan and it has to do with Berlusconi. But I am concerned and shocked because I’m quite convinced that the charges against Berlusconi were weak and contradictory and even completely lacking.”
Berlusconi’s brother Paolo, publisher of the family-owned Il Giornale daily, was sentenced to two years and three months over the same case.