Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Five-year sentence requested for Berlusconi in Mills case

Ex-premier accused of bribing British lawyer

(ANSA) - Milan, February 15 - Milan prosecutors on Wednesday requested that Silvio Berlusconi receive a five-year prison term for allegedly bribing British tax lawyer David Mills to hush up evidence in two of the ex-premier's previous trials.

Judges are set to hand down a sentence later this month although there is a risk the case will be timed out by the statute of limitations. "It is certain beyond any reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty," said prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale.

Regarding the allegations, Berlusconi has consistently maintained his innocence, saying he is being targeted by politically motivated judges.

Mills has testified that the $600,000 prosecutors say he received as a bribe was given to him by another person, not Berlusconi. Berlusconi is also on trial in three other cases. One regards allegations he paid for sex with an underage prostitute and used his power to try to cover it up, another concerns accusations of fraud at his media empire and the third regards alleged involvement in the publication of an illegally obtained wiretap.

"The judicial persecution carried out against Silvio Berlusconi is so obvious, striking and persistent that it is a political and moral problem that no one can ignore," said former culture minister Sandro Bondi, a leading official in Berlusconi's People of Freedom party. The Italian premier's office is a civil plaintiff in the Mills proceedings and has requested 250,000 euros in damages from Berlusconi and Mills.
© Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved

No comments: