Berlusconi’s censorship in Italy: on public tv David Mills becomes «acquitted»

Last Thursday, Italy’s highest appeals court (“Supreme Court of Cassation”) invalidated last year’s sentence which found english lawyer David Mills guilty of taking a bribe from italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

David Mills, the estranged husband of British Olympics minister Tessa Jowell, was convicted and sentenced to four and a half years’ jail both by the first Court (on 17 February 2009) and by the Court of Appeal (on 27 October 2009).

The “Cassazione” Court never settles the merits of the cases. The charge has just been “timed out” by a statute of limitations, because in Italy the time limit for bribery crime is 10 years. However Gianfranco Ciani, the Assistant Chief Prosecutor of the Court of Cassation, added that “there are not the grounds for David Mills to be acquitted on the facts of the case” (we could add that the british lawyer is so “clean” that he has to pay €250,000 to the Italian state as compensation for giving evasive evidence, plus legal costs).

… so far, nothing new for you people from abroad, who perhaps come here to this blog from the web. These news are available worldwide.

What you probably don’t know is how the news about the last verdict was given by TG1, the broadcasting newscast on the main italian public tv-channel Raiuno (which has always followed a strictly “censorship policy” on all of Berlusconi’s scandals and criminal issues, including the ad personam laws, the various sentences which acknowledged connections between the Mafia and politicians close to him, and the various 2009 “sex-gates”).

[ alternative links for the same video (26 February 2010, 13.30h edition): 1, 2, 3 ]

According to the TG1 headlines and its speaker’s introduction to the filmed report about the news, the verdict for David Mills was not “CHARGE TIMED OUT  BY THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS” , but “ACQUITTED”, “NOT GUILTY” (“assoluzione“). Subliminally meaning that Berlusconi was found innocent as well.
And no, “charges timed out” and “not guilty” are not exactly the same thing.

Only in the subsequent film report from the Court you could hear the correspondent from the Court talking about “prescrizione” (=the statute of limitation) as the legal ground for the quashing of the Court of Appeal sentence.

Further information: despite the facts being the same, David Mills and Silvio Berlusconi haven’t been judged in the same trial. Berlusconi was scratched from the trial and prosecution against him was suspended because of the Immunity Law called “Lodo Alfano”. Italy’s Constitutional Court threw out this law on 8 October 2009 (it wasn’t the first “ad personam law” he prepared and got voted in 15 years, and not the first Immunity Law thrown out by the same Court).

The trial against Berlusconi still has to begin from the first Court, and even if their judges will maintain the same decision on the merits (it’s already been proved that Mills received money from Berlusconi, but just in the Mills’ trial) it’s pretty sure that by the time the trial arrives to the “Cassazione” Court  the charges against him will be “timed out” by the same statute of limitations (the trial will be “timed out” in less than a year…).

That day, the TG1 speakers will probably repeat this NOT GUILTY declaration.

Many italians believe in the “state of law” and democracy, didn’t vote Berlusconi’s majority, don’t accept all of this shameful, unceasing propaganda. This part of italian people doesn’t seem to have any political chance to defeat Berlusconi’s huge concentration of political, economical and information power (in a country where most of the people – 69,3%, according to this recent survey – only gets information from television, he directly controls or exerts censorship on the 3 national public channels, and OWNS the other 3 most important channels).

This post is just another message in the bottle directed to the world, before media control by this anti-democratic majority possibly extends to the internet.

La Cina è vicina (“China is near”) is the title of a 1967 movie, but due to the rhyme is commonly used in Italy as a joke or a verbal phrase when we speak about China and its economical-political threats.However, the world must know that China is not near: China, with its regime bulletins, is already in Europe. In Italy.

– – –

P.S. & Disclaimer
– Sorry for my approximate english, I’m not an english native neither a professional english writer (this is an italian-written blog). Any correction about mistakes is welcome, and I’d be glad if many people spread these news across the world in their own – better – way. [UPDATE: thanks to Kay and Evaristo for some advices and corrections]

In this post (italian language) you can read about some spontaneous protests in Italy against TG1 censorship and lies.

2 Responses to Berlusconi’s censorship in Italy: on public tv David Mills becomes «acquitted»

  1. utente anonimo says:

    I maked you more ignorant, Big Bozzo (ti facevo più gnorante, Bozzone).



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