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Berlusconi in Court for Tax Trial


Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gestures during a press conference, April 4, 2011

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gestures during a press conference, April 4, 2011

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi arrived in court on Monday to face tax fraud charges related to his media businesses.

The case centers on charges that Berlusconi's Mediaset media empire purchased TV and film rights through offshore companies and falsely declared the prices to reduce its tax bill.

Berlusconi has denied the charges. Upon entering the courtroom Monday he called the charges groundless and said he would not be convicted.

The Mediaset case is one of several legal proceedings against the 74-year-old Italian leader.

Berlusconi is also on trial for allegedly having sex with an underage prostitute, and then using his position to try to cover up the alleged crime.

Earlier this year, Italy's Constitutional Court struck down a law giving him immunity from prosecution while in office.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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