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Berlusconi corruption trial adjourned to March 26

ROME (Reuters) - An Italian court on Saturday rejected a request from Silvio Berlusconi's lawyers to suspend a corruption trial against the Italian prime minister but adjourned proceedings to next month.

Berlusconi is charged with bribing British lawyer David Mills to withhold incriminating details of his business dealings. Both men have denied any wrongdoing.

Italy's top court this week threw out a related case against Mills because it had expired under the statute of limitations and Berlusconi's lawyers wanted a suspension of the premier's own trial until an explanation for that verdict is submitted.

A Milan judge refused the request and the next hearing in the trial has been set for March 26.

The trial was allowed to resume after a law giving Berlusconi immunity from prosecution was ruled unconstitutional last October. The prime minister, who also faces another trial on charges of tax fraud, says he has been hounded by "communist" magistrates, who are a like "band of Talibans.

Berlusconi faces regional elections next month which are widely seen as a national test for his center-right government.

(Editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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