No More Immunity for Berlusconi

Italy’s constitutional court has overturned the law granting Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi immunity from prosecution while in office. The country’s highest court annulled the law, passed soon after Berlusconi came to power, that allowed the prime minister to withdraw from several legal cases, including one involving corruption charges. When Berlusconi became Italy’s prime minister last year, he had been accused of bribing British lawyer David Mills to give false evidence. Mills pleaded not guilty, but was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for corruption in February. Prosecutors from that case, as well as two others, appealed to the Constitutional Court, claiming that granting Berlusconi immunity is a breach of the idea that all citizens are equal before the law. Though Berlusconi argued that immunity allowed him to govern without distraction, the court ruled in favor of the prosecutors.