Berlusconi’s former aide held in Mafia probe

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iol pic wld XR103_ITALY-ARREST-_0508_11 Reuters Claudio Scajola is seen during a news conference in Rome in 2010. File picture: Remo Casilli

Milan -

Anti-Mafia prosecutors say they have arrested a former Silvio Berlusconi aide for allegedly helping a southern Italian businessman convicted of Mafia association.

Authorities on Thursday arrested Claudio Scajola, a minister in Berlusconi's last government, on suspicion of having helped Amedeo Matacena, who also was a lawmaker from Berlusconi's party, flee abroad to escape a five-year jail sentence after his conviction was finalised last year.

The Italian news agency ANSA says Scajola was arrested in a luxury hotel in Rome.

Berlusconi said he was “pained” by Scajola's arrest.

Scajola resigned in 2010 as industry minister amid allegations that he paid far below market value for a luxury apartment overlooking the Colosseum in Rome. He was later acquitted of wrongdoing. - Sapa-AP

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