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Jail term in Italy corruption trial

Sergio Cusani yesterday became the first significant defendant to be sentenced after being convicted in Italy's two- year nation-wide corruption investigations, writes Douglas McIsaac from Milan. Cusani, a former financial consultant with the giant Ferruzzi foods-to-chemicals industrial group was sentenced to eight years plus a 16m-lire ( pounds 6,500) fine.

The prosecution said that the Ferruzzi group paid out more than pounds 50m in kickbacks - mainly to the Christian Democrat and Socialist parties - to escape from a disastrous joint venture with the ENI state energy company in 1989.