Lunedì, 15 Ottobre 2018

Dell'Utri 'extortion' probe moved to Milan


(ANSA) - Rome, September 26 - A probe in which a former
business and political ally of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi,
Marcello Dell'Utri, is accused of extorting money from him was
moved from Palermo to Milan Wednesday.
Prosecutors at Italy's highest court of appeal, the
Cassation Court, upheld a petition by Berlusconi's lawyers and a
recommendation by Italy's anti-Mafia head prosecutor, Piero
Palermo prosecutors did not object, calling the Cassation
Court's ruling a "technical decision".
Earlier this month Palermo prosecutors questioned
Berlusconi for three hours in Rome.
Prosecutors are investigating Dell'Utri over allegations he
blackmailed Berlusconi to stay silent about the media magnate's
alleged relations to the Mafia.
Berlusconi, who is not under investigation in this case,
had previously invoked a so-called "legitimate impediment" rule
to avoid questioning.
Berlusconi's daughter Marina, the president of the family
holding company Fininvest and of its publishing group Mondadori,
was questioned by prosecutors in July.
She is thought to have been asked about two loans made to
Dell'Utri in 2003 for a total of over 1.1 million euros from an
account held jointly with her father.
In a separate case, Dell'Utri is set to have a retrial
after receiving a seven-year jail sentence for allegedly helping
the Mafia.
The Court of Cassation in March ordered the retrial, saying
Dell'Utri's legal rights had not been respected in the first
appeals trial against the original conviction.
But in its explanation of its decision to order a retrial,
it said there was evidence that Dell'Utri had acted as an
intermediary with the Mafia for the ex-premier, handing on
"substantial sums" of money for protection.
Dell'Utri is a Senator in the ex-premier's People of
Freedom party, which he is credited with helping to create in
late 1993 in its original form, Forza Italia.

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