26 Feb 2012

Berlusconi bribery charges dismissed

5:57 am on 26 February 2012

Judges have dismissed the charges against former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in a bribery trial.

The case was declared void under the statute of limitations.

Mr Berlusconi was accused of paying a former British tax lawyer in the 1990s to lie in court to protect his interests.

The prosecution claimed the lawyer was given $US600,000 (£382,000) to lie in court about Mr Berlusconi's business interests.

The lawyer - who was not on trial - denies that any such payment was made.

In December he told a court the money was from an associate he had not wanted to admit dealing with.

The BBC reports Mr Berlusconi still faces a variety of other cases, including tax fraud and sex with an under-age prostitute.