Naples

Judge rejects Berlusconi immediate trial request

Senator alleged bribery case to follow ordinary procedures

Judge rejects Berlusconi immediate trial request

Naples, March 19 - A judge on Tuesday rejected a request from prosecutors for an immediate trial for Silvio Berlusconi on charges of corruption over allegations that the ex-premier bribed former senator Sergio De Gregorio to change political sides, defence sources said. The prosecution will now have to follow ordinary trial procedures, announcing the end of preliminary investigations and requesting a formal indictment. Berlusconi is accused of paying De Gregorio three million euros to defect from the centre left to his centre right formation during Romano Prodi's 2006-2008 government. The Prodi government fell in 2008 after losing the support of the Senate, leading to new elections that Berlusconi won.

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