Berlusconi bribery trial rejected by judges
Italian judges yesterday threw out bribery charges against the former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, saying that the statute of limitation had run out.
The billionaire media mogul was accused of paying his former tax lawyer, David Mills – the estranged husband of Labour MP Tessa Jowell – to lie in court.
Mr Berlusconi, who resigned as premier in November as the eurozone crisis engulfed Italy, has always denied any wrongdoing in the case, repeatedly accusing what he called politically biased left-wing judges of mounting a campaign to destroy him.
The prosecution alleged that Mr Berlusconi gave Mr Mills £382,000 to lie in court about Mr Berlusconi's business interests; it demanded a five-year sentence. The British lawyer was convicted in 2009 of taking a bribe from Mr Berlusconi and received a four-and-a-half-year jail sentence. The conviction was quashed in 2010.
Last December, Mr Mills told a Milan court the money had come from an associate he had not wanted to admit dealing with. He said he was "deeply ashamed" for falsely claiming Mr Berlusconi had given him the money.
The latest trial had been suspended many times because of Mr Berlusconi's prime ministerial duties and a period of immunity granted by parliament.
In a statement, Mr Berlusconi said Mr Mills was "one of many lawyers abroad that occasionally worked for the Fininvest group. I don't recall ever having met him".
He still faces trials linked to his Mediaset empire and on charges of paying for sex with an underage prostitute.
Have shock jocks gone too far after Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut?
Former Google exec says he has 100,000 emails showing how 'immoral' company avoids paying UK tax
British business: We need to stay in the European Union - or risk losing up to £92bn a year
World news in pictures
British father faces charges after confessing to slitting his two children's throats in Lyon flat
- 1 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 2 British business: We need to stay in the European Union - or risk losing up to £92bn a year
- 3 The moral case on tax avoidance is overwhelming - and we all know Google wants to do the right thing
- 4 Sam Wallace: The second coming of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea will be a reunion that can only end in tears
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
£27000 - £55000 per annum: Randstad Education London: Supply special education...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Our client in Sonning Common, is looki...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Our client is a co-educational boardin...
Negotiable: Progressive Recruitment: Systems Validation Engineer - Contract -N...