News24

Trial a big yawn for Berlusconi

2011-11-28 22:38

Rome - Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on Monday said he had struggled to stay awake at a hearing in one of his three trials in which he is accused of bribing his former British tax lawyer.

"I had a lot of difficulty not falling asleep," Berlusconi, who remains a member of parliament after stepping down earlier this month, told reporters after the hearing over his alleged payments to David Mills.

The prime minister is accused of paying Mills $600 000 to provide false testimony in several trials against Berlusconi in the 1990s.

Mills is expected to testify on December 19.

"This is a trial that will have no judicial outcome since it will expire in February" under a statute of limitations, Berlusconi said.

Mills has already been convicted and sentenced in absentia for receiving the bribe, although the highest appeals court in 2010 said the charges had expired.