Prosecutors investigate tax fraud accusations

MILAN — Prosecutors from Rome have joined magistrates in Milan in probing media mogul Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for tax fraud, it emerged Friday.

Alleged crimes involve tax-dodging in 2003 and 2004 relating to the acquisition of TV rights for Berlusconi’s Mediaset broadcasting empire.

Berlusconi’s son Pier Silvio, deputy chairman of Mediaset, and other senior managers have also been placed under investigation by Rome magistrates, Italian news wires reported.

Prosecutors allege Mediaset chiefs exaggerated the sums spent so they could post lower income and pay less tax.

In a statement, Mediaset said: “We cannot but underline the absurdity of the allegations.” — Michael Day

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