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Bid to legislate Berlusconi out of legal trouble

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Bid to legislate Berlusconi out of legal trouble

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Legislation has been proposed in Italy that could save Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from corruption charges – at least for now. Two senators from Berlusconi’s centre-right party have proposed a one-year suspension of all trials relating to non-violent and lesser crimes from before 2002 to clear a legal backlog.

Berlusconi is facing kickback allegations dating back to 1997, and accusations that he bribed a lawyer to lie for him. Those cases would be affected by the suspension. The statute of limitations runs out in two years.

A lawyer is said to have accepted 600,000 euros from Berlusconi to cover up alleged corruption. David Mills is the estranged husband of a British cabinet minister.

Berlusconi denies any wrongdoing and says the case is undermining his leadership. His goverrnment is also trying to revive a law giving immunity to high ranking officials.