This is a video about the Mafia.
Published: December 4, 2009
Filed at 7:45 a.m. ET
TURIN, Italy – A jailed Mafia hitman linked Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to the Cosa Nostra on Friday, telling a court that a godfather convicted for a 1993 bombing campaign had boasted of his links to the media mogul.
Stripped of immunity from prosecution, the prime minister faced legal difficulties on two fronts on Friday, with an ally appealing against conviction on Mafia charges and an unrelated corruption case where he is accused of bribing a British lawyer.
Mafia “pentito,” or mobster-turned-witness, Gaspare Spatuzza told a court in Turin that a Mafia clan leader later jailed for the attacks had named Berlusconi, who had not entered politics at the time, in connection with the bombings.
He recounted a meeting with clan boss Giuseppe Graviano — later given multiple life sentences along with his brother for the bombings in Rome, Milan and Florence — in a cafe on Rome’s Via Veneto early 1994, after the deadly bombing campaign.
“Graviano told me we had obtained everything, thanks to the seriousness of the people who’d helped with our affair … he mentioned two names, he called Berlusconi ‘the man from Channel 5’,” said Spatuzza, referring to a Mediaset television channel.
He quoted Graviano saying: “We have everything thanks to the seriousness of these people, specifically Berlusconi.” …
Spatuzza was speaking in open court for the first time as part of an appeal by pro-Berlusconi senator Marcello Dell’Utri against his conviction for association with the Mafia. He spoke behind a screen in a maximum-security room packed with reporters. …
A Milan court trying Berlusconi in an unrelated case for bribing British lawyer David Mills with $600,000 in 1997 to withhold evidence about his business conceded that his official duties were a legitimate reason to postpone the trial.
Berlusconi‘s lawyers argued he had to meet his cabinet and then open a new highway in southern Italy instead of attending Friday’s first hearing in the case, where Mills has already been sentenced to 4-1/2 years in prison, pending an appeal.
Berlusconi later changed his plans and did not attend the highway opening but remained in Rome.
In another trial, for tax fraud and false accounting in the acquisition of media rights by Mediaset, prosecutors say the company paid an inflated price to offshore firms controlled by Berlusconi.
Italy’s highest court overturned a guilty verdict for a British lawyer accused of taking a bribe to lie in court in the 1990s to protect Premier Silvio Berlusconi, ruling that the statute of limitations had expired: here.
The newly elected regional president of Sicily took office in the Norman Palace in Palermo on November 12 . Unlike almost every Sicilian president since the Second World War, Rosario Crocetta is not a Christian Democrat and minion of the Mafia but comes from the Communist Party, was a member of the Stalinist Communist Refoundation party and is considered an active Mafia opponent. As mayor of Gela, he twice narrowly escaped assassination attempts by the Cosa Nostra: here.
- Berlusconi sentenced to four years in prison (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Former Italian premier jailed for fraud (nzherald.co.nz)
- Italy Court Convicts Berlusconi of Tax Evasion (world.time.com)
- Berlusconi ‘obliged’ to stay in Italian politics – BBC News (bbc.co.uk)
- Berlusconi convicted, and now? (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Italy’s ‘Teflon Don’ Silvio Berlusconi finally comes unstuck after guilty ruling (independent.co.uk)
- Court orders prison term for Berlusconi (bigpondnews.com)
- Silvio Berlusconi defiant after Italian supreme court confirms jail term (theguardian.com)
- Silvio Berlusconi’s prison sentence upheld by Italian supreme court (theguardian.com)
- When Berlusconi met the boss (mafiology.com)