Feb. 25 - Silvio Berlusconi is acquitted on bribery charges when an Italian judge rules the statute of limitations in the case has expired. Katharine Jackson reports.
Silvio Berlusconi is acquitted. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) JUDGE, FRANCESCA VITALE, ENTERING COURT HALL AND READING OUT FINAL VERDICT, SAYING: "The hearing is over." An Italian judge ended the trial of the former prime minister on Saturday (February 25), ruling that the case had expired under the statute of limitations. Berlusconi is accused of paying British lawyer David Mills a $600,000 bribe. The estranged husband of a former British cabinet minister - Mills was convicted of taking a $600,000 bribe from Berlusconi in 1997 - in return for agreeing to withhold information about the former premier's business dealings during court testimony. But time in the case expired and Mills' sentence was dropped. The verdict is the latest in a string of legal cases that have faced Berlusconi since he entered politics in 1994. In all of them, the 75-year old has either been acquitted or seen the cases expire under Italy's statute of limitations. Katharine Jackson, Reuters.