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Berlusconi: Prosecutors as bad as attacker

Berlusconi: Prosecutors as bad as attacker
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi speaks at the 64th United Nations General Assembly in the UN building in New York City on September 23, 2009. UPI/John Angelillo | License Photo

ROME, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Wednesday prosecutors seeking to try him are as bad -- or worse -- than the man who physically assaulted him.

Berlusconi held a news conference on the changes he is trying to make in Italy's slow judicial system, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. Some of the changes would shield him from prosecution.

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The prime minister returned home Monday from France, where he was recovering from plastic surgery. He was injured Dec. 13 when a man with a history of mental illness threw a replica of Milan's Duomo church at him.

"The judicial attacks are on a par or even worse than Piazza del Duomo," Berlusconi told reporters.

One of the proposed legal changes would cap legal proceedings at 10 years from trial through two levels of appeals. Italy would still have the slowest legal system in Europe.

Another would ban prosecutors from appealing acquittals, a law passed in 2006 and declared unconstitutional the next year.

"We believe we must insist to make sure that citizens found innocent cannot be called to appeal by prosecutors," he said.

Berlusconi has accused prosecutors of going after him for political reasons.

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