Former Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to a year in prison on Thursday (07Mar13) over an illegal wiretap.

The politician, who resigned as Italy's Prime Minister in late 2011, was convicted in a Milan court of arranging for a police wiretap to record a conversation involving one of his opponents, Piero Fassino, and having the the transcript leaked to his brother's newspaper in 2005.

The Bbc reports Berlusconi, who denied any wrongdoing, is likely to appeal and will remain free in the meantime. His younger brother, Paolo Berlusconi, was sentenced to 27 months in jail in the same case.

The pair has also been ordered to pay 80,000 Euros ($104,080/£69,087) in damages to Fassino.

It is the latest legal drama for the politician - he was convicted of tax fraud in October (12) and ordered to spend 12 months behind bars. Berlusconi is currently appealing against the outcome of that case and is also awaiting a verdict over allegations he had sex with an underage prostitute in 2010.