Opposition parties have called on Silvio Berlusconi to step down after a judge revealed a high-flying British lawyer had been paid to lie in court to protect the Italian premier’s business interests.
An unrepentant Berlusconi – who has immunity from prosecution until the end of his mandate – said the court report was a scandal and he would address the issue in Parliament, but did not say when. David Mills, the estranged husband of British Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell, was given a four and a half year sentence in February. The court in Milan heard he had been paid hundreds of thousands of euros by Berlusconi not to reveal incriminating details about two of his offshore companies during trials in 1997 and 1998. The court said his action allowed Berlusconi and his company, Fininvest, to escape charges and hang on to huge profits. Mills is appealing the sentence. These are the latest in a series of similar allegations against Berlusconi, who claims they are politically motivated.