Berlusconi firm fined 560 million euros in bribery appeal
A Milan appeals court Saturday ordered Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s holding company Fininvest to pay 560 million euros to rival media group CIR in a bribery case, a judge told the ANSA news agency.
In October 2009, a Milan civil court ruled that Compagnie Industriali Riunite (CIR) was entitled to 750 million euros ($1 billion) in compensation from Fininvest which wrested control of the leading Mondadori publishing house from CIR in 1990.
A judge ruled at the time that Berlusconi was “co-responsible” for the bribery of a judge who decided in favour of Fininvest in the takeover battle.
CIR, whose honorary president is Berlusconi rival Carlo de Benedetti, controlled the newsweekly L’Espresso and the left-leaning daily newspaper La Repubblica, both avid chroniclers of the sex scandals that have been dogging the Italian premier.
Appeals judges ruled Saturday that the damages incurred by Fininvest amounted to 540 million euros as at the date of the initial judgment, and a total 560 million with interest, ANSA said.