Italy court upholds former Berlusconi lawyer bribery conviction

Italy court upholds former Berlusconi lawyer bribery conviction

[JURIST] An Italian appeals court on Tuesday upheld the bribery conviction of David Mills [JURIST news archive], a British barrister and former lawyer to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi [official profile, in Italian; BBC profile]. Mills was sentenced [JURIST report] in February to a four-and-a-half years in prison for allegedly accepting USD $600,000 in bribes for offering false testimony at two trials in 1997 and 1998 involving Berlusconi broadcasting company Mediaset [corporate website]. A lawyer for Mills said he plans to appeal [AKI report] to Italy's high court, the Court of Cassation [official website, in Italian].

Mills's testimonies at issue were given during trials accusing Berlusconi of giving kickbacks to the late Socialist premier Bettino Craxi [JURIST report]. Berlusconi was acquitted of all those charges. The bribery and corruption trial against Berlusconi and Mills began in 2007, but Berlusconi was removed as a defendant after a new law granted top Italian lawmakers immunity from prosecution [JURIST reports] while in office. Earlier this month, the Italian Constitutional Court struck down [JURIST report] that law, which means that the case could now be reopened.