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Judge rules in Economist's favour in Berlusconi defamation suit

Judge rules in Economist's favour in Berlusconi defamation suit

Italian prime minister Berlusconi has lost a defamation suit against the Economist magazine.

Mr Berlusconi has been ordered by a Milan court to pay 25,000 euros (£20,260) in legal fees, Reuters reports.

The cover story, published on April 26 2001, claimed that he was "unfit to lead Italy".

It analysed his businesses, reported trials against him and said he had conflicts of interest.

But Judge Angelo Ricciardi said the Economist's claims "fully fall within the legal right to criticise".

In April this year, the magazine said that Mr Berlusconi was "still unfit" to head the country.

Mr Berlusconi's lawyer could not be reached for comment.

In August, writer Salman Rushdie declined to take money after winning a libel case.

The Guardian reported that 4,000 copies of Ron Evans' biography of the author were pulped and unreserved apologies were issued by the publisher and ghost writer.

But Mr Rushdie did not take any damages, satisfying himself with the apology and retraction of various untrue claims.

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