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Berlusconi urged to quit

Silvio Berlusconi yesterday faced calls to resign from opposition leaders after a judge ruled that David Mills, husband of the Olympics minister Tessa Jowell, lied at two corruption trials to protect the Italian Prime Minister.

The judges released their 400-page reasoning three months after Mills was sentenced to four and a half years.

They say Mills gave false testimony in two 1990s trials to shield Berlusconi and his Fininvest holding company from charges relating to the purchase of US film rights, as well was to protect his own economic interests.

Prosecutors allege that Berlusconi ordered payments to Mills in exchange for the testimony.

Mills' lawyer Federico Cecconi said he did not agree with the February verdict but declined comment on the justification until he has read it.

Before entering politics, Berlusconi founded the Mediaset media empire, which is controlled by his family through Fininvest.