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Di Pietro makes debut as defence attorney

IdV party a plaintiff in bribes case against Berlusconi

11 February, 14:31
Di Pietro makes debut as defence attorney (ANSA) - Naples, February 11 - Former "Clean Hands" magistrate and ex-senator Antonio Di Pietro made his debut Tuesday as a defence attorney, representing his Italy of Values (IdV) party, a plaintiff in a graft trial against ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi. "It's the first time I find myself on the other side," said the former star prosecutor, who made a name for himself representing the State in the "bribesville" political-corruption trials in the 1990s. The present trial surrounds allegations Berlusconi bribed former IdV Senator Sergio De Gregorio to move from the centre left to the centre right during Romano Prodi's 2006-2008 government, which fell after losing the support of the Senate, leading to new elections that Berlusconi won.

De Gregorio has told investigators he received three million euros from Berlusconi.

Di Pietro was also the public works minister in Prodi's government. A year ago he stepped down as head of the anti-graft IdV after major losses at elections. He remains an active member.