Berlusconi sentenced to 3 years in jail for corruption

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ROME. KAZINFORM - Italian three-time former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Wednesday was sentenced to three years in jail for corruption by a court in Naples, southern Italy.

The 78-year-old media magnate described the verdict as "absurd" and the consequence of a "judicial persecution" aimed at damaging his "image of the protagonist of politics," reported the national newspaper Corriere della Sera. According to the court, Berlusconi paid a former senator around 3 million euros (3.3 million U.S. dollars) for changing his political stand, Xinhua reports. Berlusconi's lawyer Niccolo Ghedini said the verdict was "clamorously unfair and unjustified," wishing the appeals court upturn the sentence. Italy's judicial system offers defendants three levels of trial before a conviction becomes definitive, and both sides of law cases have the right to appeal to higher courts. Berlusconi's case, however, is expected to run out of time in November, Ghedini underlined. Earlier Berlusconi had ended a one-year community service sentence for a tax fraud conviction. Berlusconi, involved in a number of trials and judicial investigations, has been banned by law from holding any public office until 2019.

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