Prosecutors in Milan said Friday they have requested that Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi be indicted on corruption charges.
The premier is accused of ordering the payment in 1997 of at least $600,000 to British lawyer David Mills — whose indictment also was being sought — in exchange for his false testimony in two trials against Berlusconi. Both men deny the allegations.
Prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale has said Mills, who is married and just recently separated from British Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, is accused of giving false testimony in two hearings, in 1997 and 1998.
Prosecutors have declined to release details, but according to news reports, Mills is accused of failing to mention a 1995 phone call with Berlusconi in which the two discussed alleged illicit payments from Berlusconi to former Socialist Premier Bettino Craxi.
He also is accused of failing to tell a court that two offshore companies involved in buying U.S. film rights were linked to Berlusconi.
The accusations surrounding Mills’ testimony stem from a separate case in which Berlusconi, Mills and 12 others are accused of tax fraud and embezzlement over the purchase of U.S. movie rights by Mediaset, Berlusconi’s media empire. All the defendants deny wrongdoing.
Sounds like Silvio could learn a thing or two from Chimpy. His minions changed the statute of limitations for the crime he committed instead of changing the laws to make his corruption legal.
Prosecutors have said they had rushed to complete the investigation and to try to bring the case to trial after Parliament passed a reform, backed by Berlusconi’s government, that reduced the statute of limitations on the charges.