Silvio Berlusconi’s British tax lawyer testified against him via video hookup from London, in one of three separate corruption trials against the former premier underway in Italy.
The lawyer, David Mills, had earlier faced charges that he had accepted $600,000 to lie under oath at two earlier corruption trials against Berlusconi in the 1990s. Though Mills was convicted of corruption along with Berlusconi, the Italian Supreme Court overturned his conviction, saying the statute of limitations had expired.
Mills said he would be willing, under conditions he did not specify, to travel to Milan to testify against Berlusconi in person.
Berlusconi, who stepped down just weeks ago after 17 years as prime minister, has been the subject of 23 separate judicial inquiries and investigation over the years, most often for allegations of corruption. He currently faces four separate trials: three involving corruption and one for allegedly paying an underage prostitute, and misusing his authority. Berlusconi maintains he is innocent in all four cases.
Iran’s $2.8 billion banking mega-scandal thickens today, with the arrest of 27 more suspects in a case that is alleging corruption at the heart of the Islamic Republic’s financial and political leadership.
In an interview with an Iranian television station today, the Iran’s Prosecutor General Gholamhossein E’jei said that more than 100 people have so far been charged in connection with the case, including associates of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
A close relative of Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, has been arrested on corruption charges, as has Hamid Pourmohammadi, the deputy chairman of Iran’s Central Bank.
The banking scandal, the largest in Iran’s history, alleges collusion between Iran’s largest and oldest banks. A company with close ties to Meshaei is accused of securing phony letters of credit from Bank Saderat, which the company then used to obtain loans from three other banks.
Corruption is becoming more ingrained in daily life in a wide swath of states across Southern Africa, according to a new survey by Transparency International, the Berlin-based anti-corruption organization.
The survey found more people than not, 56 percent, reported paying a bribe in the last year. Bribery was most common in Mozambique, and least common in Zambia.
Nearly two out of three people said corruption in their countries had increased over the last three years, and in each country, bribes most frequently went to police.
But they are frequent in other areas, including access to essential services. In Mozambique, 35 percent of the bribes went to secure medical attention, while in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 54 percent of bribes are related to education.