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Berlusconi could get five years

Italian prosecutors have demanded a five-year prison sentence for former premier Silvio Berlusconi in his trial on corruption charges.

Prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale urged the court to find Mr Berlusconi guilty of having paid a British lawyer 600,000 dollars (£382,000) to lie in other trials involving charges of tax evasion and false accounting related to the billionaire media mogul's business dealings.

The court is racing toward a verdict before the charges expire due to the statute of limitations. Mr De Pasquale calculated that would happen by mid-July.

This is one of several cases pending against Mr Berlusconi in Milan courts, including a trial on charges of having paid for sex with an underage prostitute.

He stepped down in November after failing to persuade investors he could revive the ailing economy.

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