updated 1/22/2011 11:52:35 AM ET 2011-01-22T16:52:35

Italy's highest court has upheld the conviction against Sicily's former governor of helping a Mafia boss.

The ANSA news agency says Salvatore Cuffaro turned himself in to Rome's Rebibbia prison Saturday to begin serving a seven-year sentence.

Cuffaro was convicted in 2008 of aiding and abetting the Mafia. Prosecutors said he learned in 2001 that the home of a convicted Palermo boss had been bugged by investigators; prosecutors say Cuffaro told a doctor who knew the mobster and that the doctor then passed the information on, thus ruining the investigation.

Cuffaro, a Christian Democrat, had maintained his innocence and had been free pending his appeals. On Saturday, ANSA quoted him as saying he respected the Court of Cassation ruling.

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