Former Italian primer minister, Silvio Berlusconi, faces charges of
fraudulent accounting in connection with irregularities found at his private
broadcasting company, Mediaset SpA.
The 71-year-old – who controls Mediaset through his family’s holding company,
Fininvest SpA Berlusconi – and Mediaset’s chairman Fedele Confalonieri, and
others, face charges of false accounting and embezzlement for using offshore
accounts to pay Hollywood movie rights premiums,
Italian prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale asked a Milan court to charge
Berlusconi, but the former PM’s lawyer, Niccolo Ghedini, discounted the
allegations as ‘baseless’.
‘In April 2001 Berlusconi had no role in approving the results of a company
that is listed on the stock exchange, but in which he has no operating role,”
The public prosecutor has alleged that 1999 and 2000 are the years in which
the irregularities occurred.
In a statement, Mediaset said: ‘ The balance sheets of the company are always
drafted in rigorous observance of transparency and the law.’
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