Italy's Berlusconi faces fourth trial in Milan
Agence France-Presse photoA judge in Milan on Tuesday ruled that Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi will go to trial for the publication by one of his media outlets of sensitive transcripts from a tapped phone call.
Berlusconi is already a defendant in three trials: one for having sex with an underage prostitute and abuse of office, another for bribing a lawyer to provide false testimony and a third for tax fraud involving his media empire.
"This umpteenth trial will end up with nothing, just like all the others," Berlusconi's lawyer Niccolo Ghedini told reporters on the court steps, calling the trial "incredible" because the charge had never been brought before.
In this fourth trial Berlusconi is accused of "violation of institutional secrecy" following the publication in 2005 in his Il Giornale daily of transcripts about the attempted takeover of BNL bank by insurance giant Unipol.
The transcripts show an association between a senior leader of the centre-left Democratic Party and the head of Unipol, and their publication was seen as an attempt to influence an election in 2006, which the left eventually won.
The trial will begin on March 15, judicial sources in Milan said.