New trouble for Berlusconi

Attorney calls for indictment on charge of bribing a judge

MILAN — New judicial troubles for Italy’s media-tycoon-turned-politico Silvio Berlusconi have surfaced.

Milan public prosecutor Gerardo D’Ambrosio on Monday called for Berlusconi’s indictment for allegedly bribing a Rome judge during the so-called “Mondadori War” in 1990.

According to anti-graft magistrates led by D’Ambrosio, Berlusconi, through his top attorney/former Defense Minister Cesare Previti, paid 400 million lire ($213,600) to Judge Vittorio Metta in order to obtain a favorable ruling in the long-running legal battle against entrepreneur Carlo De Benedetti for control of Italy’s largest publishing house Mondadori.

In January 1991, Metta declared that Berlusconi’s Fininvest was the majority shareholder of Mondadori, and De Benedetti was forced to sell his stake in the publishing house.

A few months later, Metta resigned and became a partner of Previti.

The Mondadori investigation has been carried out by the Milanese magistrates for over two years. It is arguably the sole remaining judicial risk for the tycoon, who has been involved in several trials and inquiries related to his media and financial empire with no serious consequences so far.