A state prosecutor called Friday on a Milan court to impose an eight-year jail sentence on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on charges of bribing judges.
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi was not in court on Friday
Prosecutor Ilda Boccassini said Berlusconi had kept up regular payments to judges in Rome to help his company Fininvest in a corporate takeover battle stemming from the mid-1980s.
The 68-year-old prime minister was not in court as the prosecutor summed up in what's been called the SME case.
Berlusconi stand's accused of bribing judges to block the takeover of the semi-state food group SME by a competitor to his Fininvest holding company in 1985.
Boccassini, due to complete her summing up on Friday afternoon, was expected to press the court to sentence Berlusconi to a jail term. He faces a maximum term of eight years if found guilty. The verdict is expected on Dec. 3.
The prosecution investigation however found the judge-bribing went beyond the SME case, and presented one $434,000 (€336,000) bank transfer in Switzerland in 1991 as evidence of a full-scale bribe scandal involving the media magnate's holding company.
Prosecutor Ilda Boccassini in court on Friday
Squillante, head of investigations at the Rome bench at the time of the transaction, was convicted of corruption last year and sentenced to eight years in jail.
Previti, a close confidant of Berlusconi's as well as being an MP in his Forza Italia party, was convicted of bribery and sentenced to 11 years, reduced to five on appeal.Both men are currently appealing those sentences.
Russia's decision to wage war against Ukraine can no longer be denied. That forces Europe's hand and will lead to more sanctions, writes DW's Ingo Mannteufel.
At least 1,000 Russian troops have advanced into Ukraine, NATO has said. While the alliance wants to increase its military presence in the Baltic states, the EU is due to meet to discuss stepping up sanctions.
France and Germany's already strained relationship is being tested by the question of who will become the EU's new economic commissioner. Things could come to a head at Saturday's EU summit, writes Bernd Riegert.
The Venice Film Festival opens on August 27 with a comedy, but promises plenty of hot political fare over the next 11 days. German director Fatih Akin is one of 20 directors competing for the prestigious Golden Lion.