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Italy court rejects Berlusconi bid for judge recusal in tax fraud trial

[JURIST] An Italian judge Wednesday refused the request of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to have one of the judges removed from presiding over his tax fraud trial. Berlusconi and co-defendant David Mills [Guardian profile] 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 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.

In July, an Italian 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, a British lawyer, to face an additional trial to begin in March 2007. Reuters has more.

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