Italy

Berlusconi returns to dock on fraud charges in Mediaset trial

Reuters/Alessandro Garofalo
1 min

Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi returned to trial on Monday accusing Italy's judges of being out to get him. He vowed to overhaul the justice system to prevent it becomiing a "weapon of political struggle". The prime minister also condemned his trial on charges of sex with an underage prostitute and abuse of power which began last week. 

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He described the accusation as "laughable, unfounded and crazy".

In Monday's Mediaset trial, Berlusconi and his co-defendents are accused of artificially inflating the price of distribution rights bought by his companies and of creating foreign slush funds to avoid paying taxes in Italy.

The trial was suspended in 2010 after Berlusconi's majority in parliament adopted a temporary immunity law which was partially struck down in January by the Constitutional Court.

Last month, Berlusconi attended a court hearing for the first time in eight years for a separate fraud investigation linked to his company Mediatrade.

Judges have not yet decided whether that case should go to trial.

 

 

 

 

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