Italian court delays ruling for Berlusconi ally

An Italian court in Milan on April 15, 2014 ordered former prime minister and billionaire tycoon Silvio Berlusconi to do a year of community service following his conviction for tax fraud, Italian media reported.

ROME - Italy's top court on Tuesday said it was delaying a ruling for a key political ally of Silvio Berlusconi, after both the lawyers of former senator Marcello Dell'Utri said they were sick.

The judge said the Dell'Utri hearing - which concludes a legal case that has lasted for more than two decades - will now be held on May 9.

The hearing is the ex-senator's second and final appeal in a case in which he was accused of serving as a mediator between Italy's former prime minister and the Sicilian Mafia.

Dell'Utri, who is appealing the seven-year prison sentence, was arrested in Lebanon on Wednesday last week after police in Italy issued a warrant for his arrest saying he was a possible flight risk.

The 72-year-old led the advertising arm of Berlusconi's media business empire, and helped his political debut with the foundation of the Forza Italia (Go Italy) party in the early 1990s.