MILAN Oct 18 Italy's top appeals court has
overturned a ruling sentencing Mediaset SpA Chief
Executive Pier Silvio Berlusconi to 14 months in prison in a
case revolving around alleged tax evasion, the company said on
The "Corte di Cassazione" also annulled the 14-month
sentence handed down in the same case to Mediaset Chairman
Fedele Confalonieri, Mediaset added.
In March, an appeals court slapped the jail sentences on the
two executives over purported tax evasion at Mediaset's
broadcast rights arm, Mediatrade.
Prosecutors had accused Mediatrade of having acquired film
and television rights at inflated prices to pay lower taxes and
then recouping some of the funds through foreign bank accounts.
Mediaset said at the time that the film rights had been
accounted for in the relevant years and in line with tax laws
and transparency criteria.
In a statement late on Tuesday, Mediaset expressed
satisfaction over the ruling, noting that the two managers had
been cleared of the allegations by a court of first instance
before the appeals court made its ruling in March.
"With today's decision the original sentence is in effect
confirmed by the Corte di Cassazione," Mediaset said.
Pier Silvio Berlusconi, a son of former Prime Minister
Silvio Berlusconi, is also deputy chairman at Mediaset.
(Reporting by Emilio Parodi and Stephen Jewkes; Editing by