Berlusconi Sentenced 4 years in prison for tax fraud. and another case of bedding 17 yr old prostitute George Clooney failed to appear Friday to give evidence in the trial of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on sex charges, leading the prosecutor to accuse the defence of seeking to slow down the proceedings.
The Milan judge sentenced Mr Berlusconi to four more months than the public prosecutors had requested. The judges also ordered him and the others found guilty to pay a total of €10m to the Italian tax collection agency.
The Milan magistrates argued that Fininvest, the Berlusconi family holding company that owns 40 percent of Mediaset, overpaid a middleman, rather than the production companies, for the rights to television programs and films, thus making it appear that the company was less profitable. Most of the extra funds were then put into an offshore slush fund controlled by Berlusconi, the magistrates argued. Mediaset shares fell almost 3 percent after the court ruling.
Berlusconi has received a jail sentence, but on three previous occasions he has either successfully appealed or had convictions timed out, or in other cases driven through a change in the law to defeat prosecutors.
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