Berlusconi faces five-year sentence in bribery trial

Prosecutor asks judge in former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi's latest corruption trial for five year sentence

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Prosecutor Vincenzo Piscitelli has asked a judge on Wednesday to imprison former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, 79, for five years for allegedly grafting Senator Sergio De Gregorio in a plot to topple Romano Prodi’s government in 2007-2008.

"It was a colossal economic investment made with the aim of achieving the sole goal that interested Berlusconi, who was obsessed by his desire to kick Prodi out and take his post," prosecutor Piscitelli told the court in Naples.

The prosecutor also demanded a sentence of four years and four months for Valter Lavitola, an associate of Berlusconi, who is accused of paying three million euros to Senator De Gregorio in order to induce him to leave the coalition of then premier Romano Prodi.

The Centre-Left Prodi government lost a key confidence vote by 161 to 156 in the Senate, causing the downfall of his government in January 24, 2008.

Berlusconi's conservative Forza Italia party, which was founded at the end of 1993, won the election after Prodi’s government collapsed, paving the way for him to become the Italian prime minister for the third time. He continued to administer the government till 2011.

The trial is Berlusconi's latest corruption trial throughout his 25 years in politics. In total he stood trial more than 100 times, including for having sex with an underage dancer, for which he was cleared after judges ruled he could not have known she was a minor.

Court officials said the judge would deliver a verdict on July 8.

Even if Berlusconi is found guilty, according to Italian rules, he will not go to prison because of his elderly age.

Berlusconi also was allowed to serve his one-year tax fraud sentence by helping elderly disabled people once a week as part of his commnity service.

TRTWorld and agencies