A judge in the northern city of Milan on Friday sent Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s brother to trial for the illegal publication of a wiretapped phone conversation in conservative Italian daily Il Giornale.
Paolo Berlusconi, who owns Il Giornale, will stand trial in Milan on 4 October for receiving stolen goods and conspiring to reveal confidential material regarding an opposition politician’s remarks on a bid to take over one of Italy’s leading banks.
Berluconi vowed to prove his innocence of the charges and said that his and his family’s reputations had been “sullied” by “illogical declarations and conjectures that have no basis in truth.”
He was allegedly allowed to hear the taped conversation by the firm Research Control System which had been contracted by investigators to make the wiretap.
The probe was based on the assumption that the parties knew they were illegally obtaining the tape.
The former leader of the one-time opposition Democratic Left (DS) party Piero Fassino is asking for 200,000 euros in damages over the 2005 phone conversation between him and Giovanni Consorte, former chairman of Unipol an association of insurers which came close taking over the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro. In the wiretap, Fassino was recorded as telling Consorte: ”We have a bank!”.