Italo mogul indicted in wiretap case

ROME — Silvio Berlusconi has been indicted in a case involving wiretaps and leaked information, which worsens legal woes for the Italo media mogul and former premier.

Milan magistrates have set a March 15 start date for the trial. Berlusconi is accused of leaking transcripts of wiretapped calls to newspaper Il Giornale, which is owned by his brother Paolo, in order to allegedly discredit a political opponent.

Berlusconi’s lawyer Niccolo Ghedini described the indictment as “incredible,” adding that “this umpteenth trial will end up in nothing, as all the other ones,” Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The TV tycoon-turned-pol is also facing three separate trials on charges including corruption and tax fraud, in connection with Mediaset, the top Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset, which he controls, and for paying for sex with an underage prostitute.

The wiretap transcripts in this new case were allegedly obtained by Berlusconi thanks to his position as prime minister at the time. They pertain to calls in 2005 between then leftist leader Piero Fassino and a banker during a bidding war for control of prominent Italo bank Banca Nazionale del Lavoro.

Berlusconi resigned in November pressured by financial turmoil besides his sex and corruption scandals.

He recently reiterated to the Financial Times he will not run again for prime minister.

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