Italian court insists Berlusconi devised tax fraud

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Italy's supreme court is defending its decision earlier this month to uphold the tax fraud conviction of Silvio Berlusconi, saying the evidence was clear that the former premier devised a tax fraud scheme for the acquisition of film rights for his media empire.

The Court of Cassation released on Thursday a written document explaining its Aug. 1 decision, which upheld a Milan appellate court ruling that Berlusconi was guilty. The Cassation judges also upheld a four-year prison term and a ban on public office, although it ordered another court to establish the length of the ban.

The center-right leader says he's the victim of magistrates he contends sympathize with the left. His lawyers will be scrutinizing the 208-page document to try to bolster their claims that Berlusconi's rights were violated.

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