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Italian court postpones Berlusconi's trial in wiretap case until after election next month

An Italian court accepted a request from former Premier Silvio Berlusconi's defense team and agreed to postpone his wiretap leaks trial until after the Feb. 24-25 national election in which he is a candidate.

Prosecutors have asked for a one-year jail sentence for Berlusconi for his alleged role in the publication of wiretap transcripts in a newspaper owned by his media empire and three years for his brother Paolo, the publisher of Milan newspaper Il Giornale.

The court on Thursday set the next trial date for March 7.

The ruling was in contrast to the decision by another court, which rejected Berlusconi's bid to halt his sex-for-hire trial. That ruling makes a verdict likely before the vote. Berlusconi says he is innocent of all charges.

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