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Prosecutor Asks for Eight-Year Prison Sentence for Berlusconi

An Italian prosecutor has asked a Milan court to convict Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of corruption and sentence him to eight years in prison.

The prosecutor said Mr. Berlusconi bribed judges by putting them on his firm's payroll in the 1980s to block the sale of a state-owned food company to a rival businessman. The comments came as prosecutors wrapped up their arguments in the case.

Closing defense arguments are expected in December, and a verdict is expected in subsequent weeks.

Mr. Berlusconi's trial began in 2000 and was suspended last year after parliament passed legislation granting the country's five top public officials immunity from prosecution.

The Constitutional Court later ruled the measure violated the constitution, and the trial resumed earlier this year after a 10-month break.

The Italian leader denies the charges against him, calling them politically motivated.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP, Reuters.