Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Berlusconi’s Bribery

So when is the war crimes trial (he went along and threw in with Bush, Bliar, et al)?

"Court in Naples convicts Berlusconi of bribing a senator" by Frances D’Emilio Associated Press  July 09, 2015

ROME — A court in Naples on Wednesday convicted former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi of corruption charges, accusing him of bribing a senator to weaken the government of his arch political rival.

The court also gave the media mogul a three-year prison sentence, but since the statute of limitations is expiring soon Berlusconi won’t serve time. In Italy, sentences are served only after two levels of appeals trials, which take years, are exhausted.

Berlusconi was not in court for the verdict. ‘‘It’s a verdict that we contend is shockingly unfair and unjustified,’’ Berlusconi lawyer, Niccolo Ghedini, told reporters.

The court also banned Berlusconi from serving in public office for five years, but, again, that punishment will not apply because the statute of limitations is expiring this fall.

Prosecutors had alleged a senator was bribed to defect from a coalition supporting Romano Prodi, then prime minister, the only politician who beat Berlusconi in elections for the post.

During the trial, which began in February 2014, prosecutors alleged that the senator from a tiny center-left party backing Prodi was paid 3 million euros between 2006 and 2008 to switch loyalties to Berlusconi’s center-right coalition, then Parliament’s biggest opposition force.

Berlusconi denies the charge.

Sergio De Gregorio acknowledged accepting the money while a senator for Italy of Values, a party headed by former anticorruption prosecutor Antonio Di Pietro. De Gregorio got a 20-month sentence.

The defense contended there was no proof of a deal between De Gregorio and Berlusconi and that shifting alliances are a normal part of politics in Italy.

Prodi, a former European Union commission chief, defeated Berlusconi in elections in 1996 and 2006. Prodi’s second government depended on a razor-thin majority in the Senate, and it collapsed in 2008 amid bickering among allies.

Another trial defendant, Valter Lavitola, who prosecutors said was a go-between for Berlusconi and De Gregorio, was convicted and given a three-year prison term.

Some other criminal cases against Berlusconi ended when statute of limitations expired.

Berlusconi recently completed several months of community service — assisting Alzheimer’s patients near Milan — as his punishment for tax fraud.


Related: Berlusconi Back in Business

"The Islamic State claimed responsibility for a car bombing outside the Italian Consulate in Cairo early Saturday that destroyed a section of the historic building and killed one Egyptian. It marked the most significant attack yet on foreign interests as militants target the country’s security forces. The authenticity of the claim could not be immediately verified, but it was distributed by known militant sympathizers (AP)."

Also seeLaura Antonelli, 73; Italian film actress

NDUTerrorism suspects arrested in Italy

They were hidden in the waves of Obummer's migrants.