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Italy prosecutor wants ex-PM Berlusconi sentenced to five years for corruption

[JURIST] Italian general prosecutor Piero De Petris asked an appeals court in Milan Monday to sentence former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to five years in prison for bribing judges to stop the auction of the SME state-owned food company to a rival in 1985. Berlusconi, who denies the allegations, was acquitted [BBC report] of the charges by a trial court in 2004. Before resigning as PM in 2006, Berlusconi pushed through legislation [text, in Italian] precluding an appeal of the verdict. Last month, the Italian Court of Cassation [official website, in Italian], the country's high court, ruled [JURIST report] that Berlusconi should face trial, following a decision by the Italian Constitutional Court [official website] that the law violated the Italian constitution.

Berlusconi and former lawyer David Mills currently face trial [JURIST report] on charges of corruption arising from Berlusconi's alleged payment of $600,000 to Mills for favorable testimony at trials in the 1990s. In 2006, he was ordered to stand trial for embezzlement, false accounting, tax fraud, money laundering, and giving false testimony [JURIST reports] at trials involving his broadcasting company Mediaset [corporate website, in Italian]. Last month, a judge threw out some of the tax fraud charges [JURIST report] against Berlusconi because the statute of limitations had expired. Reuters has more.

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