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Berlusconi fraud trial to resume on Nov. 16.

Byline: Reuters

MILAN: A trial for tax fraud and false accounting against Italy s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will restart on Nov. 16, according to court documents, the first since a decision to lift his immunity.

Berlusconi had secured immunity in the case and other trials against him under a law passed by his government, but Italy s top court ruled earlier this month that his protection from prosecution violated the constitution.

Berlusconi stands accused of tax fraud and false accounting in the management of his media companies. The trial involves the acquisition of TV rights by Mediaset which, according to prosecutors, bought the rights at an inflated price from two offshore companies controlled by the prime minister.

Berlusconi and his lawyers have always said they are confident of acquittal. "The two trials against me are false, laughable, absurd, and I will show this to Italians by going on television and I will defend myself in the courtroom and make my accusers look ridiculous," Berlusconi said after the constitutional court rejected his immunity.

In a separate case, an appeal court met on Tuesday in Milan to reach a verdict on British lawyer David Mills who was sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment for corruption. He was accused in February of having accepted a $600,000 bribe from Berlusconi in 1997.

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Oct 28, 2009
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