An Italian court on Thursday sentenced former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to a year in prison over the publication of leaked transcripts from a police wiretap in a newspaper that he owns.

Mr. Berlusconi (76), who faces two more verdicts this month for tax fraud and having sex with an underage prostitute, can appeal the conviction — which would suspend the sentence under Italian law. Italian sentencing guidelines indicate that people aged over 75 and with sentences of less than two years do not have to actually go to prison.

Mr. Berlusconi stood accused of violating secrecy laws after his Il Giornale daily published transcripts in 2005 about the attempted takeover of BNL bank by insurance giant Unipol. — AFP