Italy's former Prime Minister isn't going to jail just yet, but his legal trouble haven't gone away just because he had a good day at the polls a few weeks ago. Just a week after Silvio Berelusconi's party stunned the world by taking down a major share of the votes in a parliamentary election, he was sentenced to a year in prison for breaking Italy's privacy laws. He's accused of arranging an illegal wiretap of a political opponent and then publishing the transcript in his brother's newspaper in 2006. Paolo Berlusconi was given a two-year sentence for his role in the crime.
That's not even the most severe legal problem facing Berlusconi right now. He's already awaiting appeal on a tax fraud conviction and he's still on trial for charges that he had sex with an underage prostitute while he was Prime Minister. Rulings on both those cases are expected to come down later this month, possibly multiplying the 76-year-old's potential prison time.
The good news for him is that in all those cases, he can't be put in jail until all his appeals are exhausted and none of the current convictions would prevent him from participating in the new Italian government—as long as he's free. The scandal over his numerous and troublesome legal cases forced Berlusconi to resign as PM in 2011, but after just one year away from government, he came storming back in last month's election, winning control of the Italian Senate and forcing the next Prime Minister, Pier Bersani, to negotiate a power-sharing coalition. Even multiple convictions and breaches of the public trust just can't seem to slow this guy down.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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