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Berlusconi, British lawyer bribery trial reopens

posted 11 Mar 2011, 03:54 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 11 Mar 2011, 03:57 ]

A trial reopens today in Milan concerning the alleged payment of a bribe by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to his former advisor British lawyer David Mills.

A bribery trial reopens on Friday (March 11) concerning allegations that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi paid a bribe of 600,000 U.S. dollars (374,000 British pounds) to his former advisor British lawyer David Mills.

Berlusconi will not attend the trial and it is not expected that Mills will be in the courtroom.

Mills, the estranged husband of Tessa Jowell, a former Olympics minister in Tony Blair's government, was convicted in 2009 of accepting the bribe from Berlusconi in exchange for Mr Mills giving false testimony in court.

The four and a half year prison sentence was never served by Mills as the legal timelimit regarding the court proceedings was ruled to be expired.

The time limit on the current trial regarding Berlusconi will run out in January 2012.

The proceedings are re-opening as the legitimate impediment ruling not allowing prime minister's to be brought to trial has recently been over-ruled by Italy's constitutional court.

Berlusconi denies all accusations.