Aide close to Berlusconi helped the Sicilian Mafia, judges find
Friday 15 July 2005
The statement came in a 1,768-page deposition giving the reasons why they decided seven months ago to sentence Senator Marcello dell'Utri to nine years in prison for Mafia association. Dell'Utri, who was born in Sicily, is regarded as the founder of Forza Italia and has been among Mr Berlusconi's closest colleagues for more than 30 years.
He was a friend of Mr Berlusconi at university and went to work for a bank in his native island, but Mr Berlusconi, then a budding property tycoon, persuaded him to abandon that career and work for him instead.
As the judges put it, Mr Berlusconi was for him "a siren which Dell'Utri did not know how to resist". During the trial, the prosecution claimed that Dell'Utri was useful to Mr Berlusconi because he already had connections to the Mafia in the island, and was therefore well-placed to act as a go-between. The judges describe him as a bridge enabling Cosa Nostra "to come in contact with important economic and financial circles". Mr Berlusconi himself they adjudged "an industrialist disposed to pay for his peace of mind", who had knowingly hired a Mafia boss, Vittorio Mangano, to work in his home, supposedly as a stable-hand.
When Mr Berlusconi declined to answer the judges' questions, they say, he lost a golden opportunity to come clean about his business dealings.
Dell'Utri is appealing his conviction. He described the judges' deposition as "an uncritical endorsement of the arguments of the prosecution ... 1,800 uselessly repetitive pages".
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
Three-year-old boy accidentally shoots dead his mother in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as she changes her younger daughter's nappy
Michael Brown shooting: Driver smashes into crowd as protests erupt across the US during a second night of unrest
Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Required skills include SQL querying, SSRS, u...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...
£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...