Berlusconi’s ally guilty in mafia case

AFP-JIJI

An Italian appeals court on Monday upheld the conviction of an ex-senator for mediating between former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and the Sicilian Mafia in the 1970s.

“I hoped the sentence would go differently, but I accept it,” Marcello Dell’Utri said after the court in Palermo upheld his seven-year prison sentence.

Dell’Utri, 71, was accused of playing the middle man between the criminal association and billionaire Berlusconi, who the court said paid out large amounts of protection money in the 1970s to prevent attacks on his family.