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Thursday judgement day for ex-Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi


Italy

Thursday judgement day for ex-Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi

Lawyers for Silvio Berlusconi have been trying to persuade the judges of Italy’s highest court that the former prime minister is innocent, or at least that his appeal should be reheard.

A ruling is due n Thursday in Berlusconi’s final appeal against a tax fraud conviction, with his political career hanging in the balance.

The defence team is expected to be the last to argue in court.

On Tuesday the state prosecutor recommended lowering the ban from public office from five to three years.

But he accused Berlusconi of instigating a tax fraud mechanism within his Mediaset broadcasting empire which continued when he was prime minister.

The politician was found guilty of artificially inflating the prices of TV rights bought by his company to avoid taxes.

He was given a four-year jail term.

45 stand-up Enrico Bona
“Today, in court, the atmosphere seemed more relaxed,” says our correspondent. “Silvio Berlusconi’s lawyers came out of the hearing and briefed journalists, and they told us they saw a positive sign in the fact that the Attorney General has not totally rejected the lawyers’ demands.”

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