Berlusconi lawyer says judges' minds set

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. UPI/Andrew Harrer/Pool
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. UPI/Andrew Harrer/Pool | License Photo

MILAN, Italy, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- The attorney for former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in a bribery trial Wednesday claimed judges hearing the case already convicted his client.

The case, in which Berlusconi is accused of bribing British tax lawyer David Mills, is set to expire in mid-February because of the statute of limitations. The court announced an aggressive schedule to enter a verdict before it expires, ANSA reported.


"We have realized that the court has already decided the verdict, and it's a guilty one," Niccolo Ghedini said after judges, sitting in Milan, asked him to combine questions to speed up the proceedings.

ANSA said Berlusconi is expected to testify Tuesday. On Feb. 3, the court is scheduled to hear testimony from Flavio Briatore, the former Renault F1 head and Berlusconi's friend, who allegedly handled the bribe.

The defense will question Diego Attanasio, an Italian shipping industrialist Mills said was the actual source of the money, on Feb. 6.

Closing statements are to be made Feb. 9.

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