Judges throw out Berlusconi bribery trial

AFP , Saturday 25 Feb 2012

An Italian court ruled that the statute of limitations has run out in a corruption case against Silvio Berlusconi

An Italian court on Saturday threw out bribery charges against former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, citing the statute of limitations, a decision that brought the five-year trial to an end.

Prosecutors had requested a five-year prison term for Berlusconi, who was accused of having paid off his former British tax lawyer David Mills to provide false testimony in his favour in two trials in the 1990s. Judge Francesca Vitale spent three hours considering the verdict after defence lawyers presented their final arguments, but took less than a minute to tell a packed court room that she ruled that the case was no longer valid.

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