Former Italian foreign minister convicted for role in sale of Monte Carlo apartment

MILAN (AP) — A former Italian foreign minister has been convicted and sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for his role in the sale of an apartment in Monte Carlo inherited by his right-wing party.

Gianfranco Fini is a former leader of the far-right Italian Social Movement, which he moved away from its neo-fascist ideology and transformed into the National Alliance, serving as foreign minister in 2004-2006 under then-Premier Silvio Berlusconi. The far-right party of Italy’s current premier, Giorgia Meloni, has roots in Fini’s parties.

Fini faced charges including money laundering in connection with the sale of the apartment in 2015 for 1.36 million euros (nearly 1.5 million euros at current exchange rates). The property had been left to the National Alliance by a countess and was sold to the father of Fini’s partner for 300,000 euros in 2008. A fraud investigation into that transaction closed without charges, and a new investigation was launched in 2017 after the second sale.

Fini told reporters after the verdict that he had been cleared of money-laundering but convicted of authorizing the sale. Fini’s partner, her father and brother were also convicted in the scheme and sentenced to between five and six years in prison.

Sentences under three years in Italy usually don’t result in jail time, and for nonviolent crimes, longer sentences usually are not served until appeals are exhausted.



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