However, the court rejected Berlusconi's appeal for  acquittal in the case.

The wiretap featured a conversation in 2005 between Piero Fassino, who is now the mayor of Turin, and Giovanni Consorte, the former chairman of Unipol insurance group.

Fassino was recorded as saying "we have a bank"  while Unipol was close to taking over one of Italy's most important banks, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro.Prosecutors said Berlusconi had given his consent  to the publication though knowing that the wiretap was covered by omission and would have impacted his political opponent.

Last year, a court of appeals ruled that Berlusconi and his brother Paolo would have to pay 80,000 euros (USD 86,000) in damages to Fassino even while ruling that the statute of limitations of the case had expired.

In 2013, the two Berlusconi brothers had been sentenced by a lower court to one year and two years and three months  respectively.

Berlusconi, 78, who has always denied any wrongdoing and insisted on being the victim of left-wing prosecutors since he entered politics in 1994, has faced multiple fraud and corruption  trials.

The three-time premier resigned in November 2011 in disgrace sparked by a famous sex case and other scandals, though continues to lead his center-right Forza Italia (FI) party.

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