Italian judges have thrown out a bribery case against Silvio Berlusconi under the statute of limitations – although they did not declare him innocent as they could have done.
The “no verdict” verdict lifts one legal weight from the former Prime Minister’s shoulders.
He had always denied paying British lawyer David Mills to withhold incriminating details about business his dealings when testifying in two court cases.
In 2009 Mills – the husband of a former British cabinet minister – was convicted of taking a bribe but that case too has now hit the statute of limitations barrier after Berlusconi changed the law while in power.
However, 75-year-old Berlusconi is not out of the woods yet. He still faces tax fraud charges over his Mediaset business empire.
And then there is the small matter of Rubygate. That case involves claims Berlusconi had sex with an under-age prostitute who went by the name of Ruby – allegations he again denies.