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Pavarotti Ordered To Stand Trial

Opera star Luciano Pavarotti was ordered to stand trial on charges of tax evasion, one of his lawyers said on Friday.

The trial is set to start on May 2, said lawyer Nerino Giardini in a telephone interview from his home in the Adriatic town of Pesaro.

Bologna prosecutor Eleonora De Marco alleged that Pavarotti presented false tax reports for the years 1989-95 in Modena, his home city and the place where he holds his annual concerts, Giardini said. He declined to give an exact amount of the money involved.

Pavarotti, who did not attend the hearing, has long claimed that his official residence is the tax haven of Monte Carlo, the principality, rather than the Italian city.

"During the trial we'll develop our defense," Giardini said.

Ending a long administrative battle over taxes, Pavarotti last summer agreed to fork over $11.3 million to Italy's finance ministry in a dispute over the same tax years.

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