News / Europe

Italy's Former PM Berlusconi Given One-Year Jail Sentence

Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi speaks to reporters after a hearing in his Mediaset appeals trial, at Milan's court, Italy, Mar. 1, 2013.
Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi speaks to reporters after a hearing in his Mediaset appeals trial, at Milan's court, Italy, Mar. 1, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Selah Hennessy
— Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to one year in jail over a leaked wiretap.  Berlusconi is unlikely to serve time over this case but his legal woes are from over.

Silvio Berlusconi is accused of arranging for the illegal wiretap of a political rival and having the transcript, which related to a banking scandal, leaked to a newspaper published by his brother.

Berlusconi has denied the charges and said in a statement Thursday that he was being persecuted by Italy’s judicial system. 

Jonathan Hopkin from the London School of Economics says it’s unlikely Berlusconi will serve time. He says the former Italian prime minister has two chances to appeal Thursday’s decision.

“A very well resourced 'accusee' such as Berlusconi who is able to pay the best lawyers in the land has very good chances of overturning any convictions,” said Hopkin.

But he says Berlusconi’s legal concerns continue. Italy’s former leader is appealing a tax-fraud conviction and also faces charges of having sex with an underage prostitute.  Hopkin says the charges have tarnished Berlusconi’s political image in Italy. 

Silvio Berlusconi resigned as prime minister in 2011 but ran again in Italy's recent inconclusive elections. His People of Freedom party came in second.

But Jonathan Hopkin says that relative success conceals the fact that Berlusconi’s party lost a huge number of votes compared to the last election in 2008.

He says that is largely due to the economic situation. But he says Berlusconi’s legal challenges in a case involving an underage prostitute, Karima El Mahroug, known by her stage name "Ruby the Heartstealer," shocked many Italians. 

“I think among all the judicial investigations he's faced over the years I think the 'Rubygate Scandal' touched a nerve with especially older voters. Especially practicing Catholics were particularly upset by that particular accusation - much more than they would be over accusations of tax evasion or bribery,” said Hopkin.

Berlusconi is expected to remain free during the appeals process of the wiretap case.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid