Berlusconi prosecutor says trials followed proper procedure

July 30, 2013 at 3:11 PM
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ROME, July 30 (UPI) -- Prosecutors told Italy's Supreme Court Tuesday proper judicial procedure was followed in Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi's two tax fraud trials.

Berlusconi was sentenced to four years in prison for tax fraud at his media empire. The Court of Cassation, Italy's appeals court of last resort, is considering whether to uphold the sentence, which includes a five-year ban on holding public office.

Berlusconi's defense team presented 50 objections to the conviction, the Italian news agency ANSA said.

"The rules have been respected and there is no contrast with the principles of just process," prosecutor Antonella Mura said of Berlusconi's trials.

Lawyers for Berlusconi earlier said he would not seek a delay in if the verdict is upheld.

"On our part there will be no such request," attorney Franco Coppi told the Court of Cassation Tuesday.

If the court affirms the verdict, the prison term and the ban will go into effect, ANSA reported.

The conviction concerns a series of inflated film-rights purchases at Berlusconi's Mediaset media empire and use of offshore companies to avoid taxes, among other things. Berlusconi maintained he did not authorize any such transactions because he was involved in political matters.

Under a 2006 amnesty law, three of the four years of Berlusconi's prison term would not be served if the Cassation Court upholds the sentence, ANSA said.

In a separate trial, Berlusconi was sentenced in June to seven years in jail and drew a lifetime ban from public office for paying to have sex with an underage prostitute and abusing his power by trying to cover up the relationship. Berlusconi denied those charges as well, and has appealed the conviction.

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