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March 1, 2021

Italy’s Berlusconi probed for alleged corruption

Italy’s four-time premier Silvio Berlusconi is being investigated in Naples for suspected corruption and illegal party funding, local reports said on Thursday, according to Xinhua.The probe involved three million euros (about 4 million U.S. dollars) allegedly paid to Senator Sergio De Gregorio, who defected from the center-left during Romano Prodi’s 2006-2008 government to join Berlusconi’s center-right party.Berlusconi, who has ruled Italy for almost 10 years, has been put on trial over 30 times. None of the probes ended with a final verdict as he was either acquitted or trials were timed out or overturned on appeal.The 76-year-old media entrepreneur still has various trials underway ranging from corruption to paying a minor for sex. He has denied any wrongdoing in each case claiming that he was the victim of persecution by a left-wing judiciary.Berlusconi has achieved a surprise success in the Sunday-Monday national elections after a massive campaign mainly based on promises of reductions and refunds of taxes for crisis-plagued Italians.The center-left had a slim win over his center-right formation at the parliament’s lower house, while no party was gaining the upper hand in the Senate after a huge protest vote for anti-establishment Five Star Movement.Berlusconi said after the results that a stable coalition had to be formed before mid-March when the new parliament is scheduled to begin.

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