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Pirelli head found guilty of receiving stolen data

Pirelli president Marco Tronchetti Provera smiles in the paddock after the third practice session of the Italian F1 Grand Prix at the Monza
Pirelli president Marco Tronchetti Provera smiles in the paddock after the third practice session of the Italian F1 Grand Prix at the Monza

MILAN (Reuters) - The chairman of tyre maker Pirelli, Marco Tronchetti Provera, was handed a 20-month suspended jail sentence on Wednesday for receiving stolen information when he was head of Telecom Italia.

Provera, one of Italy's most prominent businessmen, was also ordered by a Milan court to pay 900,000 euros ($1.2 million) to Telecom Italia, which he led from 2001 to 2006.

Provera was found guilty of receiving phone data in 2004 stolen from a security agency in Brazil. The agency was allegedly spying on Telecom Italia on behalf of Brasil Telecom and a Brazilian investment company in a dispute for control of Brasil Telecom.

The case, dating back to when Pirelli & C Spa had a controlling stake in the telecoms firm, is part of a wider spying scandal in which former Telecom Italia employees have been convicted for snooping on Italian public figures using stolen phone data.

A lawyer for Provera, who denies any wrongdoing, said there was "no logic" in the verdict.

In a statement Provera said he never knew that the data had been obtained illegally and that he had sent it on to the Brazilian police as soon as he received it.

"I respect the verdict, however I cannot help but to point out that I have been convicted for denouncing those who were spying on us," Tronchetti said, adding he would appeal against the verdict.

(Reporting by Ilaria Polleschi; Writing by Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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