Berlusconi `paid Mafia bosses millions as protection money for 20 yrs`
London: A new judicial report suggests that disgraced former premier Silvio Berlusconi made a 20-year pact with Mafia bosses to whom he paid millions of euros in exchange for protection and help with his business empire.
The tycoon`s deal with the mob was described by judges of the Palermo Appeals Court as part of their 476-page reasoning, released on Thursday, behind the jail sentence for his Mafia association given to Berlusconi`s close friend Marcello Dell`Utri, the Independent reported.
The judges say that Dell`Utri, a Palermo-born former senator in Berlusconi`s PDL (People of Freedom) Party, was the mogul`s go-between with the Cosa Nostra for 20 years, up until 1992, the year in which the Mafia assassinated two prosecutors in bomb attacks.
The report follows a dreadful summer for the three-time prime minister. In June he was found guilty of paying for sex with an under-age girl and abuse of office in the "Rubygate" affair.
In August, he was definitively convicted of tax fraud, for which he is due to serve a year of house arrest or community service, and is also likely to be expelled from parliament.
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