materiali di studio a cura di Maurilio Lovatti
Chronology from 1991: political-juditial events in Italy
was accused (together with Cesare
Acampora and Vittorio
Metta) of attempting
to pervert the course of justice; he was alleged to have bribed Rome
judges (more than 400 million lire)
so as to obtain a judgement in his favour in
his appeal to have nullified the Mondadori
ruling, the result of which determined the ownership of the publishing
1992/93 massacres- At Caltanissetta Berlusconi and Dell'Utri
were included in the list of those suspected of having ordered the murders in Via
D'Amelio (Paolo Borsellino) and Capaci (Giovanni Falcone).
1993- the Conso Decree (Amato
of illegal financing of political parties and the possibility of plea bargaining for the crimes of corruption and conspiracy.
by means of a Constitutional Law, parliament modified Art. 68 of the
Italian Constitution, which regulates the guarantees regarding members of
parliament and senators. It was no longer necessary to obtain the
houses’ permission in order to investigate or prosecute members of
parliament and senators UNLESS the investigation concerned “opinions
expressed and votes cast whilst exercising their parliamentary duties”.
In cases mostly regarding defamation or slander the Lower House and the
Senate refused authorization to proceed 75 times out of 89 between May
1996 and December 1998.
announced his entry into politics. He privately confided to journalists
Montanelli and Biagi: “If I don’t get involved in politics I’ll wind up in jail and be
bankrupted by my debts”.
Berlusconi was accused of involvement
in corruption, which was alleged to have
been perpetrated by the payment of bribes to Guardia di
involved in tax controls in the offices of four of the Milanese
(Videotime, Mondadori, Mediolanum and Telepiù)
Tremonti’s tax amnesty allowed tax evaders to “bargain”
with the authorities and pay just modest fines. One of many favours to tax
President of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) was accused of
having pressurized the RAI, (Italian State television),
to reach an agreement with Fininvest over
advertising, so as to reduce competition.
was accused of having paid bribes
to managers and officials in the Finance Ministry to obtain the reduction
of VAT from 19% to 4% on pay-TV and favourable refunds.
Berlusconi was investigated for the crime of fraudulent accounting, involving undeclared cash payments of around
ten billion lire into the accounts of the football teams Milan and Torino for the
purchase of player Gianluigi
Berlusconi was charged with the illegal
party (Craxi’s PSI) and aggravated
the Privacy Law, a severe blow to anti-mafia investigations: it obliged
telephone companies (Omnitel, Telecom etc.) to destroy records of
telephone calls after only 5 years.
1997-In Spain Silvio
Berlusconi, together with other Fininvest
managers, was accused
(such as money
laundering) to the
advantage of the television company Telecinco
he had founded.
disappearance of the crime of non-pecuniary
abuse of office, that is an abuse
of public office which may not be shown to have created a
financially-quantifiable advantage (for someone). This made legal
favouritism, nepotism, rigged job contests and recommendations.
an ad hoc law to benefit Dell’Utri: the possibility of
plea-bargaining in appeal; in 1999 a further law (again for Dell’Utri
and again approved by parliamentary majority – the centre-left serenely
gave its support) extended plea-bargaining to the highest court.
the Carotti Law, a gift to Cosa Nostra: the effective abolition of
imprisonment for life, through the extension of the abbreviated trial
procedure to all crimes, even the most serious (including Mafia killings).
November 2000: the Amato government took a step backwards and restored
life imprisonment for Mafia members convicted of murder.
“the repentant criminal reform” (presented by the minister Fassino)
considerably reduced the benefits for ex-members of the Mafia who assist
prosecutors. These incentives had motivated hundreds of men involved in
organised crime to leave their organizations and collaborate.
Napolitano, the real inspiration behind the law, maintained that there
were “too many repentant criminals in Italy” (but not those from the
Mafia, the Camorra or – rarest of all – from the ’Ndrangheta)
the Amato government reformed criminal tax law (a further example of
kindness to tax evaders):
Accountancy obligations were removed from tax fraud law: thus
‘under-billing’ operations or the complete omission to issue invoices
– typical of tradesmen, craftsmen and professionals (90% of tax evasion)
– were considered “unfaithful declarations” punishable by prison
sentences of 6 months – 3 years.
Such acts were no longer considered criminal below a certain level of
evasion (introduction of a “lower limit of punishability”).
The 3-year maximum sentence for professionals and traders guaranteed that
the sentence could be conditionally suspended (with mitigating
circumstances) or, almost always, converted into a fine.
A sentence of up to 6 years was imposed for fraudulent declarations (false
invoices and accounting tricks, the most difficult to discover and
the Berlusconi government announced three parliamentary commissions of
inquiry aimed at the centre-left, regarding the Mitrokhin dossier, the
Telekom Serbia affair and the “Clean Hands” corruption investigations
of the early ‘90s.
first time in a democracy
the majority organized parliamentary investigations into the supposed
scandals of the opposition, so as to keep them in check.
the Tremonti Decree (n°350): the possibility for capital earned and/or
held abroad to be transferred to Italy. This money had been illegally
exported or, in many cases, illegally
acquired through criminal activities.
a law presented by the minister Castelli: the centre-right majority
humiliated the judges’ body of self-government, reducing its size and
the Maccanico-Schifani Ruling: absolute immunity from criminal prosecution
for the State’s 5 highest posts (President of the Republic, President of
the Senate, President of the Lower House, President of the Council of
Ministers, President of the Constitutional Court).
1999 the firm Europa 7 won a tender for national broadcasting frequencies.
The Minister of Telecommunications in the D’Alema
government acted in contravention of the result of the public tender (Ministerial
Authorization 1999) and allowed the continuation of analogical
transmissions on the part of "networks
in excess” (Rete
4 and TELEPIÙ)
government passed a legal
decree (the ‘network-saving decree’)
which stipulated that "networks
in excess " could continue to transmit on the frequencies already
in use, both analogically and digitally, until the termination of an
enquiry into the development of cable digital networks.
the Ex Cirielli Law (presented by AN member Edmondo Cirielli) established
“zero tolerance” of criminality. Unfortunately it contained a codicil
which halved the time regarding the statute of limitations for those with
no criminal record on trial for crimes with maximum penalties of 5 – 10
11th July (the Prodi government) in the Commission on Justice,
the DS, Margherita, Forza Italia, UDC, Greens and Rifondazione Communista
reached an agreement on the basic contents of a wide-ranging
included a reduction of 3 years even for habitual offenders, violent
criminals and professionals, not just regarding prison sentences, but
in equivalent terms also for financial penalties.
against public bodies were also included; exclusions concerned only organized crime, terrorism, paedophilia in
general and concerning pornography, and the illegal detention and
kidnapping of persons. (In practice an unconditional capitulation to
Berlusconi, with no mention of white-collar crimes, those involving State
investigated by the Naples
Prosecutors’ Office, under suspicion of having bribed the
then president of
to corruption with
regard to Senator Nino
other Italian senators
the government “forgot” to
ratify la Convention of the Council of Europe on corruption,
signed by Italy in 1999.
the Alfano Ruling:
“with the aim of tutelage
of the absolute priority of the continuity and regular operation of the
highest public functions” this ruling implements the ordinary
cancellation of Article 3 of the Constitution. But surely there cannot be
four citizens who, because of the offices they hold, are “more equal
than the rest”.
the Court of Appeal confirmed the original sentence of 4 years 6 months to
Mills for having received $600,000
from Silvio Berlusconi for his
false testimonies in 2 trials, with respect to All
Iberian and bribes paid to the
“Guardia di Finanza” tax inspectors.
Berlusconi was placed under investigation by the Rome prosecutor Giovanni
Ferrara, with suspicion of abuse
(the use of military aircraft to
transport himself and others to an evening’s entertainment in Villa
Berlusconi, together with the commissioner of the Communications Guarantee Authority Giancarlo
formally placed on the list of suspects by the Trani prosecutors’ office
(for putting pressure on Agcom to close the TV programme Annozero).
Berlusconi was named as a suspect with respect to tax
evasion and fraud, in a Milanese investigation into the trading of Mediaset TV and film rights.
14th December the “purchase”
of members of parliament by the government in order to survive a
December 2010 Silvio
Berlusconi was investigated by the Milan prosecutors’ office under
suspicion of conspiracy and prostitution of minors in connection with the “Ruby Heart-stealer”
El Mahroug) case.