He says he’s the victim of a political witchhunt, but Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is to have an investigation into an allegedly fraudulent tv deal broadened. The deal was with a US company in the mid-1990s. Milan-based prosecutors have requested a six-month extension to continue the inquiry started in 2001 and added embezzlement to allegations of false bookkeeping and tax fraud, Berlusconi’s defense lawyer Niccolo Ghedini told Reuters.

“I am not opposed to the request,” he added, saying he was certain that information from the United States would confirm that Berlusconi was innocent.

The investigation into Berlusconi’s TV deals focuses on the purchase by Mediaset broadcaster, which is controlled by Berlusconi’s family, of television rights for U.S. films in 1994 and 1995 through two offshore firms.

Prosecutors suspect the purchase costs were inflated by about $170 million. Mediaset has denied accusations of fraud.

Prosecutors are also investigating Fedele Confalieri, the chairman of Mediaset, and two directors at Fininvest, the Berlusconi family holding company which controls Italy’s top private broadcaster.

Italy’s justice minister caused an uproar over the summer when he tried to invoke a new immunity law to block the investigation and stop magistrates obtaining U.S. documents needed for the probe. He later relented.

A corruption trial against Berlusconi for bribery judges in a corporate takeover has been suspended under the immunity law, but investigations have not been blocked.

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