MILAN — In a surprising verdict issued by Judge Rosario Lupo in Milan, Silvio Berlusconi has been acquitted of bribing a Rome judge in 1991.
Berlusconi was accused of bribing the judge in order to obtain a favorable verdict in a trial that gave Berlusconi the ownership of publishing house Mondadori.
Among all the legal cases in which Berlusconi was and still is involved, this one presented the most serious risks for him both in terms of penalty and compensation to be paid.
All are cleared
In the last two years, the Milanese magistrates had tried to demonstrate that the media tycoon-turned-politician paid billions of lire to Rome Judge Vittorio Metta through his attorney, Cesare Previti, to gain the control of Mondadori in a complex financial war against Carlo De Benedetti. But Judge Lupo said Monday that there was no evidence of the alleged bribery, clearing Berlusconi, Previti and Metta.
This ruling comes after a series of judicial victories for Berlusconi, as he won three appeal decisions, including one regarding the acquisition of film distribution and production company Medusa. Berlusconi is still under investigation in four more cases of alleged corruption.