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Details of Silvio Berlusconi's legal woes

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was sentenced to seven years in jail on Monday for paying for sex with an underage prostitute and abusing his office, is involved in four legal procedures -- three trials and a pre-trial investigation.

Multiple previous cases against him have either been thrown out, expired under a statute of limitations, or had initial convictions overturned on appeal.

Berlusconi denies all the allegations against him and says he has been the victim of left-wing prosecutors ever since entering politics in the 1990s.

Under Italian law, sentences are not carried out until the appeals process has been exhausted.

Here are the details of the four current cases against Berlusconi:

-- Ruby trial: The former prime minister was sentenced to seven years in jail and banned from public office after judges convicted him of having sex for money in 2010 with a then 17-year-old girl known as "Ruby the Heart Stealer" during raunchy parties at his luxurious residence outside Milan.

He was also found guilty of personally putting pressure on police to get the Moroccan-born girl, whose real name is Karima El-Mahroug, released from custody when she was arrested for theft so that she would not reveal their liaison.

His lawyers said they will appeal the verdict.

-- Mediaset trial: In October 2012 Berlusconi was sentenced to four years in prison for tax fraud connected to his Mediaset empire, and was banned from holding public office for five years by a Milan court, which then immediately cut the sentence to one year under an amnesty law.

The conviction was upheld by an appeals court in March this year, and the case now goes to Italy's highest court, which is expected to rule towards the end of 2013.

-- Wiretap trial: In March, Berlusconi was sentenced to a year in prison over the publication of leaked transcripts from a police wiretap in a newspaper in his media empire. He is currently appealing the verdict.

The case will expire under the statute of limitations later in the year, meaning that both the sentence and appeal would be thrown out.

-- Bribery: Prosecutors in Naples have requested a trial against Berlusconi on allegations that he bribed a left-wing senator with three million euros to join his party and topple a past centre-left cabinet.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130624/details-silvio-berlusconis-legal-woes-0