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Silvio Berlusconi faces tax fraud charges as trial resumes

The Italian prime minister faces four trials – with charges including fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion and paying for sex with an underage prostitute.

A float depicting Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi entitled
A float depicting Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi entitled "Rexpubblica" is shown at the traditional Viareggio Carnival parade in Viareggio, Italy.
Image: PAOLO LAZZERONI/AP/Press Association Images

ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER Silvio Berlusconi goes back on trial today in the first of four upcoming court cases.

Today’s trial will see him being accused of tax fraud.

Berlusconi is not expected to be present for today’s proceedings, which will include several executives of his Mediaset television empire – including British lawyer David Mills, the former husband of UK Labour minister Tessa Jowell.

The original trial was suspended last year, along with another in which Berlusconi is a defendant, due to a law passed by the government makinga person holding the prime minister’s office immune from prosecution.  However, that ruling was overturned in January.

A second upcoming trial will see Berlusconi accused of paying a bribe to Mills in order for him to withhold testimony, while Berlusconi and his son – Pier Silvio – will face charges of fraud and embezzlement in a third case, reports the BBC.

In the fourth and final trial, Berlusconi will face allegations that he paid for sex with an underage prostitute – and tried to cover up his actions by abusing his office, the Guardian reports.

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