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Ornella Muti faces jail threat after attending Putin gala

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Italian actress Ornella Muti has been told she could go to jail if she fails to pay damages for cancelling tour dates to attend a dinner with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and actor Kevin Costner.

Muti had been due to perform on stage in December 2010, but called in sick for three nights and flew to St Petersburg to attend the charity gala.

Now Italy’s top appeal court has upheld her conviction for attempted fraud.

The actress has said in the past she is unable to pay the theatre damages.

The Supreme Court of Cassation confirmed on Thursday her six-month suspended jail term as well as a €500 (£445; $560) fine and €30,000 in compensation to the Verdi theatre in Pordenone, in north-eastern Italy.

Her conviction for attempted fraud stems from a sick note she gave the theatre that said she was suffering from acute inflammation of the trachea, with a fever, a cough and a hoarse voice.

The medical certificate recommended five days of rest and reports said she then travelled to the Russian charity gala to which President Putin had invited her some time before.

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