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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Berlusconi's Brother Implicated

ROME -- Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi faced more embarrassment Tuesday after a top executive in his media empire implicated the Italian leader's brother, Paolo, in the country's latest graft scandal.


Gabriele Sciascia, the group tax director at Berlusconi's Fininvest company, was quoted in several newspapers as saying Paolo Berlusconi, the prime minister's younger brother, gave him money to pay bribes.


Silvio Berlusconi was head of Fininvest until he entered politics several months before coming to power in the March national elections leading the conservative Freedom Alliance.


Sciascia was one of 23 businessmen and police officers for whom arrest warrants were issued at the weekend on suspicion of bribing finance police for easy treatment during probes. He said he told Milan's top anti-corruption magistrate Antonio Di Pietro about the arrangement with Paolo, who now runs the Berlusconi family's construction activities, during questioning Monday.


Paolo Berlusconi was ordered on July 9 to stand trial in a Milan corruption case involving property deals with a large Italian bank. He has denied all wrongdoing.


The arrests were a fresh embarrassment for Berlusconi, who is facing a political storm over the alleged conflict between his political role and the interests of his $7 billion-a-year business empire, which spans broadcasting and retailing.