Berlusconi senator admits to taking 2 mln euros

But denies it was a bribe to switch parties

Berlusconi senator admits to taking 2 mln euros

Rome, March 11 - Senator Sergio De Gregorio publicly confessed to illegally accepting two million euros from former premier Silvio Berlusconi but denied it was a bribe to switch sides from the centre left to the centre right. When asked what Berlusconi received in exchange for the money, De Gregorio said, "nothing," and that the money went towards his foundation but was not declared. "If they had given it to me in a transparent way, I would have declared it, just as I did with another million euros," he said after exiting a hearing with prosecutors in Rome. De Gregorio, who prosecutors said had already admitted to receiving bribes, defected from the centre left during Romano Prodi's 2006-2008 government and eventually joined Berlusconi's party. De Gregorio, who police say came forward in December, was suspected of accepting up to three million euros in payback.

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