Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Indicted for Alleged Tax Fraud

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ROME – A Rome prosecutor on Thursday indicted former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, his son Pier Silvio, and ten others for alleged tax fraud in connection with the sales of television rights for Mediaset, the broadcast giant Berlusconi controls.

The elder Berlusconi, who stepped down as prime minister in November, is the billionaire founder of Mediaset. Pier Silvio, his son, ran the company when Silvio was prime minister.

Prosecutor Giancarlo Capaldo alleges that a dozen leading Mediaset figures were responsible for avoiding €10 million ($13.1 million) in taxes starting in 2004. Among the others named by Capaldo are U.S. television producer Frank Agrama and Chinese businessmen Paddy Chan and Catherine Hsu Chun, along with several Italian company managers.

The case is separate from three other open criminal or civil investigations into Berlusconi’s actions, alleging a wide variety of crimes ranging from corruption to bribery and from abuse of power to paying an underage girl for sex.

On Wednesday, prosecutors asked a Rome judge to sentence Berlusconi to jail time if he is found guilty of corruption and bribery charges in connection with a case connected to British lawyer David Mills. In the summary hearing of that trial, they said Berlusconi paid Mills to lie for him in court as part of an earlier trial related to kickbacks for film rights.

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