Court rejects Berlusconi request to suspend appeals trial
Mediaset case must resume before elections over25 January, 15:26
Berlusconi is appealing a one-year sentence for tax fraud on film rights for his Mediaset TV group. Judges did rule in his favor regarding missing a court appearance due to a legitimate impediment on Friday, when the 76-year-old media tycoon was at a national convention for his center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party in Rome. It is not his only active trial. On Monday judges in Milan said the trial into allegations he paid for sex with an underage prostitute will not come until after general elections, February 24-25. A trial into accusations Berlusconi was involved in the publication of an illegally obtained wiretap has also been put on hold.
In the ongoing and several other previous trials, Berlusconi has always denied wrongdoing, claiming he is the victim of a minority group of allegedly left-wing prosecutors and judges who he says are persecuting him for political reasons.
Berlusconi has been tried some 30 times but has only been convicted three times - verdicts that were either timed out or overturned on appeal - prior to the Mediaset fraud verdict.