'Clear D&G on tax dodge charges' - prosecutor

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Designers Stefano Gabbana (L) Domenico Dolce, creators of the D&G fashion house. Photo: Olivier Morin/AFP Files/AFP
12:04 CET+01:00
Milan's prosecutor general has said the prison sentence handed down to fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana last year is "invalid", a promising sign for the pair as their appeal gets underway.

Speaking in court on Tuesday, Prosecutor General Gaetano Santamaria said the charges against Dolce and Gabbana should be dropped as “the case is invalid”.

The Italian designers, who together built the D&G fashion house, were convicted in June for evading €1 billion of taxes by creating a shell company in Luxembourg. They are currently appealing their €500,000 fine and prison sentence of one year and eight months each.

READ MORE: Dolce & Gabbana duo sentenced for tax evasion

Whereas last year Prosecutor Laura Pedio said the court had found “rock-solid proof” of tax evasion, Santamaria said this week the sentence “goes against good sense”.

“As an Italian citizen I might be annoyed by the brand’s choice to deal with a Luxembourg firm, but as a legal professional I must strip myself of all prejudice,” he was quoted in Il Sole 24 Ore as saying.

While Santamaria’s statements do not determine the outcome of the appeal, they give a welcome boost to Dolce and Gabbana’s case.

In protest at their conviction last year, the fashion pair closed their flagship Milan boutique for three days.

"We are no longer willing to suffer unjustly the charges from the financial police, tax authorities, the attacks of government ministries and the media pillory which we have been subjected to for years now," they said at the time.

READ MORE: 'Indignant' D&G close Milan boutiques

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Despite their legal woes, Dolce and Gabbana have remained at the forefront of the fashion industry in recent months. Last month the D&G’s autumn/winter 2014-2015 collection hit the catwalk at Milan Fashion Week, with an eclectic range featuring furs and chainmail.

READ MORE: Knights march in fairy-tale D&G show

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