Tags: legal and illegal bribes, Sergio De Gregorio, Silvio Berlusconi, someone needs a pick-me-up
Much like when he gave that underage stripper that he was sleeping with €45K, there was absolutely nothing untoward about the great man’s totally legitimate €1 million gift to a senator in exchange for political support. Do not dare call it a bribe. As for the other €2 million, well, Silvio is 77 years old, and does not recall giving quite that much to Sen. De Gregorio, in spite of what the Sicilian says.
Naples prosecutors allege that Mr. Berlusconi—who was in the opposition at the time—paid €3 million ($4.1 million) to then-senator Sergio De Gregorio, whose small party was supporting the center-left government at the time, led by Romano Prodi….
Mr. Berlusconi denies the charges of corruption, but admits having paid €1 million to Mr. De Gregorio’s party in 2007. He said that the sum was a political contribution given in exchange for Mr. De Gregorio’s support. Mr. Berlusconi maintains that this payment was legal.
Prosecutors allege that Mr. Berlusconi paid another €2 million as a bribe to convince Mr. De Gregorio to withdraw his support from Mr. Prodi’s government. This was allegedly given to Mr. De Gregorio in cash by an associate, Valter Lavitola, prosecutors say.
Mr. Berlusconi denies having paid the €2 million. He and Mr. Lavitola will stand trial together.
Berlusconi Ordered to Stand Trial on Bribery Charges [WSJ]