(Der Spiegel) March had looked like it would be a month of political revitalization for former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Instead, it is turning out to be a month of trials — and at least one conviction. On Thursday, a court in Milan sentenced the media mogul to one year in jail on charges of breaching confidentiality for his role in a wiretapping scandal.
Berlusconi is accused of involvement in the illegal publication of a wiretapped conversation conducted by a political opponent in 2005 by the Il Giornale newspaper, which is produced by his brother Paolo Berlusconi.
The telephone conversation had been tapped as part of an investigation into irregularities detected in the takeover of Banca Nazionale di Lavoro (BNL) by insurer Unipol. During the investigation, a conversation between the boss of the insurance company Unipol, Giovanni Consorte, and center-left politician Piero Fassino had been wiretapped. Prosecutors said Berlusconi sought to harm the man seen as his greatest political rival at the time with the publication of the transcript. In Italy, it is not uncommon for such transcripts to find their way into newspapers.