Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Berlusconi loses tax fraud appeal

Silvio Berlusconi claims charges against him are politically motivated

An Italian court has upheld the tax fraud conviction against former premier Silvio Berlusconi and sentenced him to four years in prison.

But Mr Berlusconi could appeal to a higher court, the Court of Cassation.

In October, a court convicted Mr Berlusconi in a scheme that involved inflating the price his Mediaset media empire paid for TV rights to US films and pocketing the difference. He denied the charges and says he is a victim of politically-motivated prosecutors.

That verdict was upheld by the appeals court in Milan.

The lower court, which began hearing the case in 2006, also said Mr Berlusconi could not hold public office for five years or manage any company for three years, penalties that would take force only if the conviction is upheld on two levels of appeal.

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