Silvio Berlusconi’s close associate Marcello Dell’Utri has been arrested in Lebanon.
Marcello Dell’Utri is a life-long friend of Silvio Berlusconi and was once one of his closest advisors.
Declared a fugitive, Marcello Dell’Utri was arrested in Beirut just days before a definitive verdict in his long-running trial.
A lower court earlier decided he was guilty of having liaised between a Sicilian Mafia boss and Silvio Berlusconi.
If Italy’s highest court, hearing his final appeal, upholds that conviction, Marcello Dell’Utri could face seven years in jail.
The offence is alleged to have happened before Silvio Berlusconi entered politics.
Both men deny having had any dealings with the Mafia and Silvio Berlusconi has not been tried in connection with the affair.
Marcello Dell’Utri was declared a fugitive on Friday, after the authorities could find no trace of him. He later issued a statement saying he was abroad for medical treatment, but did not say where.
Senior Italian officials say Marcello Dell’Utri is in police custody and that Italy will seek his extradition.
Marcello Dell’Utri was an executive in Silvio Berlusconi’s media empire and then a senator in his conservative movement.
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