In Rare Move, Berlusconi Shows Up to Court

Italian PM slams ridiculous tax fraud case
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2011 6:04 AM CDT
Silvio Berlusconi: Tax Fraud Case 'Ridiculous'
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives for a legal hearing over allegations of fiscal fraud and breach of trust in his business interests on March 28, 2011 at Milan's court.   (Getty Images/AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE)

As his legal troubles drag on, Silvio Berlusconi is weighing in: In a rare move, he showed up at a Milan hearing today in his tax fraud case, the AP reports. When asked if he would attend other hearings as well, Berlusconi said, "I will go to those when I can be present, aiming to not suspend the trials because all the trials are absolutely absurd and built on nothing." The Italian PM also appeared on TV to denounce the matter as political. “The prosecutors have shown that they want to persecute me and they don't stop even in the face of facts and of ridiculousness,” he said.

They view him as an “ ideological and political enemy” and “the obstacle preventing the left from gaining power,” he said. “Unfortunately communism in Italy never surrendered and never changed.” Some 100 supporters gathered outside the courthouse to back the PM in a case centered on alleged fraud in his media company’s sale of film rights. Berlusconi's last court appearance was in June 2003. (More Silvio Berlusconi stories.)

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