September 2, 2014
MILAN (AP) - An Italian court is set to deliver verdicts against former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and 10 others in a six-year-old tax fraud trial. Prosecutors have demanded a sentence of 3 years and eight months for Berlusconi and four years for the chairman of his Mediaset conglomerate Fedele Confalonieri.
Prosecutors allege the defendants purchased television rights for U.S. movies through a series of offshore companies, then falsely declared the payments to avoid taxes.
The trial began in July 2006, but was put on hold for a period due to a now-defunct immunity law. Berlusconi has been tried numerous times for his business dealings. He has always been cleared or seen the statute of limitations expire. The verdict comes days after Berlusconi announced he will not run for premier in upcoming elections.