Berlusconi's brother faces trial over wire tapping
Tuesday 07 June 2011
Silvio Berlusconi's brother is to stand trial accused of illegally publishing a wire-tapped conversation to discredit a leading figure of Italy's left.
Paolo Berlusconi is charged with receiving illegally obtained material and conspiring to reveal confidential information after his right-wing Il Giornale newspaper printed a conversation between the centre-left politician Piero Fassino, and Giovanni Consorte, the former chairman of Unipol, a group of insurers historically linked to Italy's Communist movement.
The recording, made in July 2005, reveals the two discussing Unipol's progress in taking over a major Italian bank, the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) – a prospect that appalled the Italian right. Mr Fassino is said to have exclaimed: "We have a bank", although the takeover bid ultimately failed.
Mr Fassino, who was elected Mayor of Turin last month, was widely criticised after his remarks were printed. He is currently seeking €200,000 (£120,000) for what he claims are the damages to his reputation.
A research organisation RCS, owned by Roberto Raffaelli, was hired to do the wiretap and he is said to have handed the recording over to Paolo Berlusconi on Christmas Eve of 2005 at the Prime Minister's mansion at Arcore, near Milan.
Silvio Berlusconi and another person, Fabrizio Favata – an associate of Paolo Berlusconi and Mr Raffaelli – were present, and all four listened to the tape before it was passed to the newspaper owner, it is claimed.
Paolo Berlusconi has denied the charges and said that his and his family's reputations had been "sullied" by "illogical declarations and conjectures that have no basis in truth". The trial, in a Milan court, will begin in October.
Mr Favata has asked for a fast-track trial after being charged with blackmail. Investigators say he demanded €300,000 from Mr Raffaelli and threatened to go public on how the wiretap was leaked to Il Giornale.
Milan judge Stefania Donadeo will consider on 8 June a request by prosecutors to sentence Mr Favata to two years and eight months in prison and will consider a plea-bargaining request by Mr Raffaelli in exchange for a reduced jail term of one year and eight months for his role in the wiretap.
- 1 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Video shows what happens when lava is poured onto ice
- 5 Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Andreas Lubitz: Who is Germanwings co-pilot who 'locked out captain and crashed flight 9525'?
Germanwings crash: The poignant final photograph taken by Iranian journalist on doomed flight after watching Barcelona play Real Madrid
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
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
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Vote Ukip, says far-right group Britain First
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...