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Italian court delays ruling for Berlusconi ally

Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

An Italian court in Milan on April 15, 2014 ordered former prime minister and billionaire tycoon Silvio Berlusconi to do a year of community service following his conviction for tax fraud, Italian media reported.

ROME - Italy's top court on Tuesday said it was delaying a ruling for a key political ally of Silvio Berlusconi, after both the lawyers of former senator Marcello Dell'Utri said they were sick.

The judge said the Dell'Utri hearing - which concludes a legal case that has lasted for more than two decades - will now be held on May 9.

The hearing is the ex-senator's second and final appeal in a case in which he was accused of serving as a mediator between Italy's former prime minister and the Sicilian Mafia.

Dell'Utri, who is appealing the seven-year prison sentence, was arrested in Lebanon on Wednesday last week after police in Italy issued a warrant for his arrest saying he was a possible flight risk.

The 72-year-old led the advertising arm of Berlusconi's media business empire, and helped his political debut with the foundation of the Forza Italia (Go Italy) party in the early 1990s.

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