Mafia Godfather Denies Link to Berlusconi Associate

Filed at 69 a.m. ET

PALERMO, Sicily (Reuters) - A jailed Mafia godfather told an Italian court on Friday he had never had links with a close associate of Silvio Berlusconi, casting doubt on evidence from another mobster linking the prime minister to Cosa Nostra.

Sicilian Mafia boss Filippo Graviano, serving multiple life terms with his brother Giuseppe for their part in a 1993 Mafia bombing campaign, denied seeking help from politicians or having any contact with pro-Berlusconi senator Marcello Dell'Utri.

Berlusconi is not formally linked to the case being heard in Palermo, an appeal by Dell'Utri against his nine-year jail term for association with the Mafia, which has thrown up new evidence alleging links between Berlusconi and the mob.

Berlusconi says these allegations are unfounded and part of a campaign by biased courts to bring down the government, his third since 1994.