Berlusconi's Fininvest ordered to pay €560m over corrupt deal
Sunday 10 July 2011
Silvio Berlusconi's family investment company, Fininvest, was yesterday ordered to pay €560m (£497m) immediately to a rival media group for corruption in the acquisition of the Mondadori publishing company – a devastating sum and a significant blow to the Italian Prime Minister.
The civil damages award stems from a case in which three Berlusconi associates were convicted of corrupting a judge to overturn a ruling in favour of the industrialist Carlo De Benedetti, who was fighting Fininvest for control of Mondadori in the 1990s. The Milan appellate court, while upholding a 2009 verdict against Fininvest, reduced the damages from €750m.
Mr Berlusconi's daughter Marina, who heads Fininvest, said the "totally unjust verdict" was part of a campaign against her father. "The verdict represents the umpteenth scandalous episode of violent aggression that has gone on for years against my father, by all means and on all fronts, including entrepreneurial and economic," she said. She also complained the award was worth twice Fininvest's share of Mondadori capital.
Mr Berlusconi came under fire last week when he introduced a measure into Italy's austerity budget that would have allowed Fininvest to delay payment until the final appeal. He hastily withdrew the measure under opposition pressure, but even political allies said they were unaware that the measure had been buried in the package.
On Friday, Mr Berlusconi backed Italy's deficit-reduction targets after the markets took fright at fresh signs of government tension and problems for the Economy Minister, Giulio Tremonti, who was caught on film calling one of his ministerial colleagues a "cretin". Mr Tremonti has appeared increasingly isolated in the cabinet, but he remains the minister most trusted by the financial markets to keep control of Italy's badly strained public finances and prevent it being drawn into the market turmoil that has hit countries such as Greece, Spain and Portugal.
* In an interview with La Repubblica on Friday, Mr Berlusconi declared that he would not run again when his term of office ends in 2013 and named the 40-year-old Justice Minister, Angelino Alfano, as his successor.
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...