Martedì, 16 Ottobre 2018
NAPLES

Berlusconi 'heavily' invested in De Gregorio, says witness

English
© ANSA

Naples, June 26 - Silvio Berlusconi "heavily"
invested in the political campaign of former Senator Sergio De
Gregorio, a businessman told investigators probing allegations
of bribery by the ex-premier.
Prosecutors in Naples want Berlusconi to stand trial for
bribing De Gregorio to switch political sides to help defeat a
political rival.
Businessman Bernardo Martano said that he told
investigators that De Gregorio also said Berlusconi was someone
that could not be refused.
"You never say no," to Berlusconi, leader of the
center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party, said Martano,
quoting De Gregorio, who also faces criminal trial.
De Gregorio has already told prosecutors that he received
millions from Berlusconi, convicted earlier this week of having
sex with an underaged prostitute and abuse of office.
De Gregorio defected from the centre-left during Romano
Prodi's 2006-2008 government and eventually joined Berlusconi's
party.
Berlusconi allegedly paid the turncoat three million euros
to switch sides from the centre-left to the centre-right, say
prosecutors.
The Prodi government fell in 2008 after losing the support
of the Senate, leading to new elections that Berlusconi won.
De Gregorio originally admitted to receiving two million
euros from Berlusconi, which he did not declare for tax
purposes, but denied that it was bribe money.
In March the Italian daily newspaper Il Messaggero quoted
De Gregorio saying he took the money to join Berlusconi's
formation with the explicit purpose of bringing down Prodi.
Berlusconi has been hit on numerous fronts by legal woes,
which he chalks up to left-wing magistrates who allegedly have
it out for him for political reasons.

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