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Silvio Berlusconi Found Guilty In Sex-For-Hire Case

Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi  in May of 2013.
Filippo Monteforte
AFP/Getty Images
Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in May of 2013.

A court in Milan found former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi guilty Monday in a sex-for-hire case, La Repubblica reports.

The court sentenced Berlusconi to seven years in prison and barred him from public office indefinitely.

The AP has a bit of background on the charges:

"Berlusconi, 76, [was] charged with paying an underage Moroccan teen for sex and then trying to cover it up with phone calls to Milan police officials when she was picked up for alleged theft. Berlusconi and the woman deny having had sex with each other. ...

"Even if he is convicted, there are two more levels of appeal before the sentence would become final. The process can take months."

As the BBC reports, Berlusconi had already been sentenced to four years in prison in a tax fraud case in 2012.

The BBC adds that this conviction is bound to have political repercussions because it could "weaken current Prime Minister Enrico Letta's coalition government, which depends on the support of Mr Berlusconi's centre-right party, People of Freedom (PdL)."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.