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Ex-Berlusconi minister arrested for allegedly aiding an accused Mafia fugitive

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 finalized last year. Italian news agency ANSA says Scajola was arrested in a luxury Rome hotel.

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.