Italy’s Berlusconi defends himself in court


Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi defended himself in court in Milan on Monday against accusations of fraud related to his business interests — one of four legal proceedings against the Italian leader. Berlusconi made “a brief spontaneous declaration” in front of the judge at the closed-door hearing, his lawyer Niccolo Ghedini told reporters.
The prime minister talked about the use of intermediaries in the sale of television distribution rights at the centre of the accusations. The judge has not yet ruled whether the case should go to trial or not. Berlusconi is a defendant in three other ongoing trials — one for bribery of a witness, a second for fraud and, the most widely-publicised, a case in which the prime minister is accused of having sex with an underage prostitute. The prime minister is due back in court for the bribery case next Monday.