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Berlusconi aide held in Mafia probe

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

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

Italian news agency Ansa says Scajola was arrested at a luxury Rome hotel.

He 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.

Berlusconi said he was "pained" by the arrest.

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