Italy: Prosecutors push 1-year term for Berlusconi

AP News
Posted: Dec 20, 2012 11:37 AM

MILAN (AP) — Prosecutors on Thursday demanded a one-year jail sentence for former Premier Silvio Berlusconi for his alleged role in the publication of wiretap transcripts in a newspaper owned by his media empire.

Prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli made the request as the trial of Berlusconi and his brother, the publisher of Milan newspaper Il Giornale, draws to a close. Prosecutors demanded three years and three months for the brother, Paolo Berlusconi.

The charge relates to the 2005 publication of a wiretapped call that was part of an investigation into the Unipol financial services company's failed bid to take over the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro. The bid was blocked by Italy's central bank, contributing to the forced resignation of then-Bank of Italy chief Antonio Fazio.

Berlusconi lawyer Nicolo Ghedini accused the court of seeking a speedy verdict to impact national elections expected in February. Berlusconi has vacillated over whether or not to run.

In a statement, Ghedini pointed out that for years wiretaps of Berlusconi's conversations have been published without judicial probes.

Berlusconi also is on trial in Milan for allegedly paying an under-age teen for sex and lying to cover it up. In October, Berlusconi was convicted of tax fraud and sentenced to four years in prison. He is appealing that case.