Economist wins libel battle with Berlusconi

Weekly political title The Economist has seen off a lawsuit from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Berlusconi, who is currently serving his third spelll as Prime Minister, launched the lawsuit in July 2001 during his second period in office. He claimed that The Economist defamed him in an article headed ‘An Italian Story’in the 26 April issue of that year. The cover of the magazine said: ‘Why Silvio Berlusconi is unfit to lead Italy”.

A court in Milan has issued a judgment rejecting Belusconi’s claims and demanding he cover The Economist’s legal costs.

The Economist article covered Berlusconi’s career which saw him rise to become one of Italy’s richest men and documented the numerous legal battles in which he was involved in. The article claimed his companies had used ‘money from untraceable sources’and that he ‘even faces allegations of links to the mafia”.

Berlusconi claimed at the time that the article contained “a series of old accusations” which were an “insult to truth and intelligence”.

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