Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • French PM calls for calm ahead of banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Limited 12-hour humanitarian truce takes effect in Gaza

    Read more

  • Video: 'Lack of security' at MH17 crash site, FRANCE 24 reports

    Read more

  • In pictures: Devastation, debris at Air Algérie crash site

    Read more

  • Kerry in Paris for new round of Gaza ceasefire talks

    Read more

  • Washington Post reporter and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Fans electrify the mood as Tour de France crosses the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    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)