(ANSA) - Rome, February 16 - Former premier Silvio
Berlusconi could face a fifth criminal trial after Rome
prosecutors on Thursday requested he be indicted along with 11
other people for alleged fraud at a subsidiary of his Mediaset
Berlusconi was acquitted of a similar case in Milan, also
concerning alleged wrongdoing in the trading of film rights by
the Mediatrade subsidiary, in Milan in October.
The other people prosecutors requested be sent to trial
included Berlusconi's son Piersilvio and Egyptian-born director
and producer Frank Agrama.
They are suspected of arranging for Mediatrade to buy film
rights at inflated rates, with a part of the fees being fed back
into offshore accounts to dodge taxes.
If a preliminary judge agrees to send the case to trial,
it risks being timed out next year as the most recent of alleged
acts of wrongdoing date back to 2005.
On Wednesday Milan prosecutors requested that Silvio
Berlusconi receive a five-year prison term for allegedly bribing
British tax lawyer David Mills to hush up evidence in two of the
ex-premier's previous trials.
Judges are set to hand down a sentence later this month in
the case, which also risks being timed out by the statute of
Berlusconi is also on trial in three other cases, all in
One regards allegations he paid for sex with an underage
prostitute and used his power to try to cover it up, another
concerns accusations of fraud at his media empire and the third
regards alleged involvement in the publication of an illegally
In the ongoing and several other previous trials,
Berlusconi has always denied wrongdoing, claiming he is the
victim of a minority group of allegedly leftwing prosecutors and
judges who he says are persecuting him for political reasons.
"It's a judicial persecution, an unlimited operation of
defamation that has made the Milan court a special court that
wants to oust Berlusconi from politics and destroy him as a
person," the ex-premier told one of his Mediaset TV channels on
In more than a dozen cases, the premier has never received
a definitive conviction, sometimes because of law changes passed
by his governments, while some other charges were timed out by
the statute of limitations.