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Berlusconi tax fraud trial adjourned while former PM recovers from collapse

[JURIST] An Italian judge adjourned the tax fraud trial of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and British lawyer David Mills [Guardian profile] Monday after Berlusconi collapsed during a speech [AP report; recorded video] in Florence Sunday. Berlusconi's lawyers requested time for Berlusconi to recover, and the trial will likely resume on Friday. In July, a judge ruled [JURIST report] that Berlusconi should stand trial on charges of embezzlement, false accounting, tax fraud and money laundering in connection with a TV rights deal involving Berlusconi's company, Mediaset [corporate website]. In October, an Italian court ordered [JURIST report] Berlusconi and Mills to face an additional trial to begin in March 2007.

Last week, a judge refused a request [JURIST report] by Berlusconi and Mills to have one of the judges removed from presiding over his tax fraud trial. The two defendants had asked Judge Edoardo d'Avossa to remove himself [JURIST report] from the current trial, citing d'Avossa's involvement with other Berlusconi trials, including the "Medusa" case, which ultimately resulted in the former prime minister's acquittal on false accounting charges. D'Avossa had offered to step aside, but a supervisory judge rejected that offer on Wednesday. UPI has more.

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