Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Hiroshima's Healing Hug

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Uganda Terror Trial: Five jailed for life for 2010 Al-Shabaab World Cup Bombings

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Obama in Hiroshima and Austria's close call (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

French labour strikes, raids on Google and McDonald's (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Ukraine: Searching for missing people in Donbass

Read more

REVISITED

Video: What remains of the Gezi movement in Turkey?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Euro 2016: France readies for kick off

Read more

ENCORE!

Anne A-R : The people beyond the numbers: A photographic manifesto from the migrant trail

Read more

ENCORE!

Video: Ken Loach wins his second Palme d'Or in Cannes

Read more

Europe

Prosecutors seek five-year jail term for Berlusconi

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-02-15

Italian prosecutors on Wednesday demanded a five-year sentence for former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in his trial for bribery. Even if found guilty, he may avoid jail because the charges will soon be overtaken by the statute of limitations.

REUTERS - Italian prosecutors asked a Milan court on Wednesday to sentence Silvio Berlusconi to five years in prison on charges of paying British lawyer David Mills a $600,000 bribe to lie about the former prime minister's business interests.

But even if the media tycoon is found guilty, he is not likely to go to jail because the case, which dates to 1997, will be overtaken in a few months by the statute of limitations.

The scandal-plagued Berlusconi, who was forced out of power in November as Italy faced a perilous debt crisis, faces three other trials on charges including tax fraud and paying for sex with an underage nightclub dancer.

Milan prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale told the court on Wednesday that the bribery charge would be overtaken by the statute of limitations between early May and mid-July.

Mills, husband of former British cabinet minister Tessa Jowell, has already had a 4-1/2-year jail sentence for taking the bribe quashed by the statute.

Mills told the trial in December that he lied when he told British tax authorities that he had received the $600,000 payment from a Berlusconi associate, and said the former prime minister had nothing to do with the case.

He said he was deeply ashamed for implicating him.

Prosecutors allege that Berlusconi paid Mills to lie under oath in separate court cases.
Berlusconi, 75, denies all charges against him, saying he is being hounded by politically motivated left-wing magistrates.

Berlusconi's lawyers say the charges in the Mills case have already expired and that the three-judge panel is biased against their client.

They have asked for other judges to take over the case. A separate court is expected to decide on this request on Feb. 18.

Berlusconi, already on trial for separate charges of tax fraud and in the "Rubygate" sex scandal, will face a new case on March 15 on charges of revealing confidential information related to a 2005 banking scandal.

The Mills trial is due to continue on Feb. 25. A verdict could come in the spring.

Date created : 2012-02-15

  • ITALY

    Berlusconi's rule comes to an end

    Read more

  • ITALY

    The twilight of Berlusconi's long reign

    Read more

  • ITALY

    Berlusconi departure fails to calm markets

    Read more

COMMENT(S)