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Silvio Berlusconi's prosecutors seek 5-year jail term

Silvio Berlusconi's prosecutors seek five-year jail term in corruption case.

Silvio berlusconi jailEnlarge
Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reacts during the presentation of Antonio Razzi's book "Le mie mani pulite" (My clean hands) on February 1, 2012 at the Italian parliament in Rome. The Clean Hands campaign was a judicial investigation into political corruption in the 1990s. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

Prosecutors in an ongoing case against Silvio Berlusconi are seeking a five year prison term for the former Italian prime minister on corruption charges, reported the BBC.

The primary accusation against Berlusconi is that he paid David Mills, his British lawyer, $600,000 to lie in other trials which revolved around tax evasion and false accounting related to his billion-dollar business dealings, said the Associated Press.

Prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale told the court, “It is certain, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty,” and said Berlusconi’s defense was “based on false documents,” according to AFP.

However, the request for jail time in sentencing is largely symbolic, as Berlusconi, 75, is unlikely to serve time in prison even if convicted. The AFP noted that sentencing in Italy is lenient for people over the age of 70.

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The court is under a deadline to reach a verdict as the charges are expected to expire soon under Italy’s statute of limitations, with De Pasquale estimating around mid-July, said the AP.

The trial against Berlusconi was suspended due to a law passed while he was prime minister, and now prosecution may come too late to place the former premier behind bars.

Berlusconi also has other cases pending against him, including charges of bribery, tax fraud, sex with an underage prostitute, and abuse of power and violating official secrets, said the AFP.

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Below is a report from Euronews:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/italy/120215/silvio-berlusconis-prosecutors-seek-5-year-jail-term