Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was back before the courts on Monday on charges of tax fraud. This is one of four court cases slated to be resumed after Italy's Constitutional Court last year stripped him of automatic immunity while in office.
This is not the first time the 74-year-old Prime Minister has faced judges who have, over the past 20 years, tried to pin him down for fraud, tax evasion and other business misdeeds. But his barrage of lawyers has proved more than efficient in keeping him out of jail — either winning him acquittals or delaying proceedings until the statute of limitations kicked in rendering the proceedings null and void.
In the trial that opened in Milan on Monday, prosecutors said Mr. Berlusconi's Mediaset media empire purchased TV rights for U.S. movies through two “offshore” companies and falsely inflated the costs to reduce its tax bill.