FI ready to sue Di Matteo (4)

State-Mafia claim 'of unprecedented gravity'

(ANSA) - Rome, April 20 - Former premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right Forza Italia (FI) party on Friday said it was ready to sue for slander prosecutor Nino Di Matteo for saying former Berlusconi aide Marcello Dell'Utri was the go-between for the Mafia's requests to the 1994 Berlusconi government. "Forza Italia rejects with indignation all attempts to link, against logic and evidence, the name of Berlusconi to the affair of the State-Mafia talks," whose trial ended Friday with the conviction of Dell'Utri and others. It accused Di Matteo of being an "assiduous participant" at events staged by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) and said his charges against the ex-premier were "of an unprecedented gravity"".
    Berlusconi said "the attempt to link my name to the State-Mafia talks is absurd and ridiculous".
    He said his 1994 government had "never received any threat from the Mafia", as wrongly claimed by Di Matteo.