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EU Court Upholds Italian Accounting Laws Favoring PM Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi
The European Union's highest court has issued a ruling that will help Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi avoid charges of false accounting.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg said it could not overrule the 2002 changes to Italy's laws reducing the statute of limitation on prosecutions.

A Milan court three years ago suspended a false accounting case against Mr. Berlusconi pending the EU court's ruling.

The charges stem from the late 1980's and early 1990's. He has denied any wrongdoing. Critics say Mr. Berlusconi's ruling coalition amended the laws to protect him from prosecution. Last week, Italian prosecutors asked a court to indict Prime Minister Berlusconi on charges of tax evasion related to his media company (Mediaset). He was acquitted in an earlier trial.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.