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Probe sought over Berlusconi's praise of Mussolini

Monday - 1/28/2013, 12:04pm  ET

ROME (AP) - An Italian political candidate has asked prosecutors to investigate former Premier Silvio Berlusconi for allegedly defending fascism after the media mogul praised Benito Mussolini for doing "good" despite the dictator's anti-Jewish laws.

Gianfranco Mascia, who has led an anti-Berlusconi movement for decades, says he filed the complaint Monday with Rome courthouse officials, citing a 1952 law that forbids actions defending fascism.

Berlusconi sparked outrage at a Milan ceremony Sunday to commemorate the Holocaust by saying Mussolini had accomplished good in many aspects of his Fascist dictatorship. Berlusconi also defended Italy's alliance with Hitler's Germany, though he later stressed he condemns dictatorships.

Berlusconi was forced to resign in 2011 by Italy's debt crisis. He is aiming for a comeback in next month's national elections. Mascia is running in a regional race.


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