Berlusconi ups stakes in feud with judges

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The Independent Online
ROME - Hostilities between the Italian government and anti-corruption magistrates were resumed yesterday, after inspectors from the Justice Ministry launched an inquiry into 'possible irregularities' committed by the judges, writes Fiona Leney.

During the inquiry the inspectors will examine hundreds of corruption cases.

It will centre on complaints that judges have unfairly targeted the Fininvest business empire of the Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. A report filed by a senior judge, Milan's procurator-general, said there were insufficient grounds to justify a search at a Fininvest subsidiary in the spring.

In the meantime, the legislature's self-governing body, the supreme council of Magistrates, yesterday closed the chapter on the last big battle between the Prime Minister and the judiciary. It decided to shelve a disciplinary case brought against the pool's chief prosecutor, Francesco Saverio Borrelli, for a newspaper interview in which he had hinted that Mr Berlusconi was about to receive notification of investigation.