Italy seeks jail time for Mediaset vice chairman in Mediatrade case

MILAN Thu May 22, 2014 9:22am EDT

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MILAN May 22 (Reuters) - An Italian prosecutor has asked that Mediaset Vice Chairman Pier Silvio Berlusconi, son of the ex-prime minister, be jailed for three years and two months for tax fraud over the TV group's broadcasting rights firm Mediatrade.

Mediatrade has been accused of buying film and television rights at inflated prices to evade 10 million euros ($13.7 million) in taxes in 2004.

Prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale also asked for a three-year and four-month sentence for Mediaset Chairman Fedele Confalonieri. Pier Silvio Berlusconi, eldest son of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, and Confalonieri have always denied any wrongdoing.

Other hearings, including in June to allow defence lawyers to make their speeches, are due to take place before a judge rules on the prosecutor's requests.

Defence lawyers had no immediate comment, while Mediaset, which is controlled by the Berlusconi family via holding company Fininvest, declined to comment on Thursday.

In March last year, Italy's highest appeals court upheld a ruling clearing Silvio Berlusconi of tax fraud charges in connection with the same case. ($1 = 0.7318 Euros) (Reporting by Manuela D'Alessandro, writing by Danilo Masoni; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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