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Italy ex-Premier Berlusconi convicted for tax evasion

Friday, October 26, 2012 | 9:57 AM    

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MILAN, Italy (AP) -- A court in Italy has convicted former Premier Silvio Berlusconi of tax fraud and sentenced him to four years in prison.

In Italy, cases must pass two levels of appeal before the verdicts are final. Berlusconi is expected to appeal.

The conviction Friday was the media mogul's first; other criminal probes and trials had ended in acquittal or were thrown out for statute of limitations. Earlier in the week, Berlusconi had announced he wouldn't run for a fourth term. The 76-year-old media mogul wasn't in the courtroom for the verdict on the case stemming from dealings in his Mediaset business empire.

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