Ruby Ter, Berlusconi-Apicella acquittal: “There is no evidence of a corruption agreement”

The reasons for the sentence of the judges of the second criminal section of the Court of Rome: “Between the two there was a long-standing relationship, even friendly, which cannot be correlated to false depositions”

“The evaluation of the trial results did not allow to affirm, beyond any reasonable doubt, the criminal liability of the defendants, since the copious documentary acquisitions and the oral evidence taken on the point did not offer no direct evidence of the alleged bribery agreement. And indeed, the procedural emergencies, while arousing more than a suspicion of the existence of a tacit and implicit “pact” between the defendants, do not allow the conduct to be described with the phenomenological connotations suitable for integrating the alleged offense”. can be read in the motivations of the sentence with which the judges of the second criminal section of the Court of Rome issued on 17 November acquitted Silvio Berlusconi and Mariano Apicella, with the formula “because the fact does not exist” in the Roman vein of the Ruby Ter trial which saw the former prime minister accused of alleged corruption linked to the false testimony of the Neapolitan singer referring to the parties organized in Arcore. The judges had also declared the statute of limitations for the accusation of perjury against Apicella. The indictment for the two had been decided by the Rome investigating judge at the preliminary hearing on May 16, 2018. The Rome prosecutor’s office had also requested acquittal for both defendants.

“They turn out various transfers in favor of Apicella have been documented – explain the judges – in the period 2002/2011 from the current account held by Berlusconi for a total paid over 290,000 euros; in the same way, with reference to the extract from the current account held in Berlusconi’s name” at another credit institution “in the period 2005/2008 there are credits on the Apicella account totaling 96,600 euros; finally, the extract from Berlusconi’s current account shows a transfer of one hundred thousand euros to Apicella made on 18 June 2008 (…). Of particular interest is the significant oscillation of the quantum gradually bestowed by Berlusconi to Apicella – underlined the judges – which ranges from a minimum of 648 euros (January 28, 2003) to a maximum of 40,000 euros (non-interest bearing loan of October 20, 2003), to then settle on an average of 3,100 euros. To this must be added the bank transfer of 100,000 euros dated 18 June 2008 with the description ‘non-interest bearing loan’. The (certain) elements just illustrated are not in themselves sufficient to prove that the wire transfers were actually and exclusively related to the bribery agreement intervened among the defendants in view of the testimony given by Apicella”.

”These data therefore document the monthly periodicity of the payments in a period prior to that indicated in the indictment, the absolute traceability of the instrument adopted consisting of the use of bank transfers, and the substantial equivalence of the donations, legitimizing the inference, contrary and alternatively to the accusation, theexistence, between the defendants, of a stable and dating personal relationship – reads the sentence – of a professional nature if not also befriend them”.