Italian PM Berlusconi faces corruption charges after losing legal immunity

October 7, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Under legal fire Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was dealt a severe blow when Italy’s Constitutional Court has overturned the law granting his position immunity from prosecution while in office. The country’s highest court annulled the law, passed soon after Berlusconi came to power, that allowed the prime minister to withdraw from several legal cases, including one shielding him from a corruption trial in Milan.  When Berlusconi became Italy’s prime minister last year, he had been charged with ordering the 1997 payment of at least $600,000 to British lawyer David Mills in exchange for the lawyer’s false testimony at two hearings in other corruption cases in to the 1990s. Mills pleaded not guilty, but was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for corruption in February. Prosecutors from that case, as well as two others, appealed to the Constitutional Court’s 15 judges, claiming that granting Berlusconi immunity is a breach of the idea that all citizens are equal before the law. Though Berlusconi argued that immunity allowed him to govern without distraction, the court ruled in favor of the prosecutors. While a resumption of the corruption trial  could increase pressure on him to resign, right now Berlusconi remains defiant, telling reporters outside his Rome residence after the ruling, that he felt “invigorated.”  He says, “We go ahead,” and any trial against him is a “farce.”

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One Response to “Italian PM Berlusconi faces corruption charges after losing legal immunity”

  1. Italian PM Berlusconi faces corruption charges after losing legal immunity on October 7th, 2009 3:28 pm

    […] The rest is here: Italian PM Berlusconi faces corruption charges after losing legal immunity […]

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