Europe

New Italian trial set for Berlusconi in corruption case

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, May 21, 2014 file photo, Silvio Berlusconi talks during the recording of a TV show in Rome. Just when Silvio Berlusoni hopes to run for office after being sidelined for a tax-fraud conviction, a Milan judge has ordered him to be tried on corruption charges. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, May 21, 2014 file photo, Silvio Berlusconi talks during the recording of a TV show in Rome. Just when Silvio Berlusoni hopes to run for office after being sidelined for a tax-fraud conviction, a Milan judge has ordered him to be tried on corruption charges. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE -- In this file photo taken on June 25, 2008, Silvio Berlusconi, then Italian Premier, gestures miming handcuffs as he speaks during the Confesercenti traders association's annual assembly in Rome. Just when Silvio Berlusoni hopes to run for office after being sidelined for a tax-fraud conviction, a Milan judge has ordered him to be tried on corruption charges. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

    FILE -- In this file photo taken on June 25, 2008, Silvio Berlusconi, then Italian Premier, gestures miming handcuffs as he speaks during the Confesercenti traders association's annual assembly in Rome. Just when Silvio Berlusoni hopes to run for office after being sidelined for a tax-fraud conviction, a Milan judge has ordered him to be tried on corruption charges. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)  (The Associated Press)

Just when Silvio Berlusoni hopes to run for office after being sidelined by a tax-fraud conviction, a Milan judge has ordered him to be tried on corruption charges.

The Italian news agency ANSA, reporting from Milan, said Judge Carlo Ottone De Marchi set trial to begin April 5 in Milan.

Milan daily Corriere della Sera says the former three-time premier is accused of having shelled out some 10 million euros (dollars), plus expensive gifts, to 20 young women who attended sexy parties at his Arcore villa near Milan. Berlusconi's lawyers deny any wrongdoing by their client, saying he is being tried for his "generosity" to the women.

Prosecutors allege the center-right leader opposition aimed to "buy" the women's silence in various trials involving him.