Berlusconi vote-buying case transferred to Rome
Ex-premier suspected of deceptive tactics at last elections30 August, 17:31
The case, originally opened by prosecutors in the northern city of Reggio Emilia, examines a letter Berlusconi sent to millions of constituents right before February's election promising to pay back the controversial IMU property tax.
Berlusconi's opponents argue the letter was deceptive as it looked like an official document, informing people about how to obtain a rebate if his party won, rather than an election pamphlet.
Large numbers of Italians lined up outside tax-assistance centers in February after receiving the letter, prompting labor unions to issue a statement informing them that no rebate had been issued. Berlusconi's party, the centre-right People of Freedom (PdL), roared to a surprising second place at the polls on an anti-IMU platform, eventually forcing a junior partnership with the first-place center-left Democratic Party (PD). On Wednesday the government agreed to overhaul the tax after months of threats from the PdL to pull its support and force snap elections.