Apr.13 - Beirut police detain former Italian senator Marcello Dell'Utri who is considered by Italy to be a fugitive, ahead of a final verdict in a trial for mafia collusion. Sarah Toms reports.
A close associate of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been arrested in Lebanon. Marcello Dell'Utri is believed to be held inside this building by security forces. Declared a fugitive earlier last week, he was arrested here in Beirut just days before a final verdict in his long-running trial for mafia collusion. He said he was away for medical treatment. A lower court earlier decided he was guilty of being a go-between for the Sicilian Mafia boss and MIlan's business elite, including Silvio Berlusconi's companies. If Italy's highest court, upholds that conviction, Dell'Utri could face seven years in jail. Italy is expected to seek his extradition. Seen here in the Italian senate when a senator, he was once one of the former prime minister's closest advisors and is a life-long friend. Both men deny having had any dealings with the Mafia and Berlusconi has not been tried in connection with the affair. The offence is alleged to have happened before Berlusconi entered politics.