Court: Berlusconi company must pay huge award

High court slightly lowers nearly multi-million damage award against Berlusconi investment arm

Associated Press

MILAN (AP) -- Italy's highest court has upheld a ruling that Silvio Berlusconi's family investment company must pay a huge fine for corruption, but gave it a small discount on the multi-million euro judgment.

The Court of Cassation rejected Tuesday most of Fininvest's objections to lower courts' rulings against it for corruption in the purchase of the Mondadori publishing house, a key step in the creation of Berlusconi's media empire in the 1990s.

An appeals court had awarded a rival media company 564 million euros — down from an initial 750 million euros. CIR said the high court award amounts to 494 million euros ($660 million).

Berlusconi is fighting efforts in the Senate to remove him from office after his tax fraud conviction, threatening the stability of Italy's uneasy coalition government.

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