News24

Judges throw out Berlusconi bribery trial

2012-02-25 16:34

Milan - An Italian court threw out bribery charges against former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on Saturday saying the statute of limitations had come into force, bringing 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 had run out of time allowed by law.