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The legal flood gates open on Berlusconi

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The legal flood gates open on Berlusconi

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The verdict by Italy’s top court means a number of trials against the 73-year-old Berlusconi will reopen.

The highest profile case sees the veteran politician accused of bribing British lawyer David Mills to give false testimony to protect his businesses. Berlusconi is charged with paying Mills about 400,000 euros from secret funds to withhold incriminating information. Mills was sentenced in February to four and a half years in jail for corruption. Like Berlusconi, he insists he’s innocent and is appealing the verdict. Another case involves the acquisition of television rights by Mediaset. Prosecutors claim the company paid over the odds for rights from two offshore companies controlled by Berlusconi, who is accused of tax fraud and false accounting. In addition there’s a case involving allegations that a number of senators were offered bribes to join Berlusconi’s coalition government in 2007.