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Rome prosecutors join Berlusconi investigation

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Rome prosecutors join Berlusconi investigation

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Prosecutors in Rome have joined magistrates in Milan in investigating the Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi over a TV rights deal.

The case concerns accusations of false accounting in transactions involving Berlusconi’s group Mediaset, which owns Italy’s three main privately-owned channels. It is alleged that the price of film rights was artificially manipulated in order to evade tax.

Rome prosecutors are involved because a Mediaset-owned firm had its headquarters in the Italian capital.

Berlusconi’s son Piersilvio, deputy-chairman of Mediaset, and around ten other executives are also being investigated.

Proceedings in Milan have been suspended pending a court ruling into a law passed by Berlusconi’s government granting him immunity from prosecution.

Despite several other probes into the prime minister’s business dealings, he has never been definitively convicted.