Berlusconi's bid to have trial halted would help David Mills
Wednesday 18 June 2008
Silvio Berlusconi's post-election honeymoon has come to an explosive end, with the Italian Prime Minister seeking to have the judge in his corruption trial removed, and his allies slipping in a last-minute amendment to an emergency security law which would, in effect, freeze legal proceedings against him.
For the past two years, Mr Berlusconi, 71, has been on trial in Milan, accused of having conspired with a British lawyer, David Mills, the estranged husband of the government minister Tessa Jowell, to corrupt the course of justice. The substance of the charge – prompted by Mr Mills's spontaneous declaration to a UK accountant – is that Mr Berlusconi paid him $600,000 to give false testimony in two trials in the late Nineties. Both men deny the charges.
With the trial predicted to end soon, Mr Berlusconi came up late on Monday night with what opponents dubbed a "premier-saving" law. If passed, the amendment would oblige Italy's judges to give precedence, for one year, to cases involving serious crimes such as violent crime or Mafia offences that carry terms of 10 years or more. Trials involving alleged white-collar criminals, such as Mr Berlusconi and Mr Mills who risk a six-year jail term, would be put on the shelf.
Lawyers for Mr Berlusconi, a billionaire business tycoon, began proceedings yesterday to remove Nicoletta Gandus, the judge presiding at the trial in Milan.
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Germanwings plane crash: Video shows co-pilot Andreas Lubitz learning to fly as a teenager
- 3 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
Children take eight Isis captives to be beheaded in latest propaganda video
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client IT Account Manager is ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant / F...
£27000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of a mark...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides Reliabili...