Italy’s Justice Ministry started an international search for Marcello Dell’Utri, a former member of Italian Parliament allied with ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi.
The action followed a request by prosecutors in Palermo, who declared Dell’Utri a fugitive after failing to find him at an address in the Sicilian capital this week, said a ministry spokesman who asked not be named in line with internal policy.
Dell’Utri was found guilty in March 2013 by an Italian appeals court for collusion with the mafia. The former lawmaker, who denies any wrongdoing and appealed last year’s ruling, said he is currently abroad for medical reasons and wouldn’t avoid the consequences of future legal rulings, according to an e-mailed statement sent by Dell’Utri’s lawyer, Giuseppe Di Peri.
Dell’Utri, who was the co-founder with Berlusconi of his Forza Italia party in 1994, appealed last year’s ruling to the country’s highest court.