Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Now Mills Is Linked to a Mafia 'Money-Laundering' Company

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Now Mills Is Linked to a Mafia 'Money-Laundering' Company

Article excerpt

Byline: KEITH DOVKANTS

ITALIAN investigators are today checking links between David Mills and a company accused of laundering money for the Mafia.

Mr Mills, 61, is accused of accepting a [pounds sterling]350,000 bribe for withholding damaging evidence about Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, for whom he acted as a corporate lawyer.

The Milanese prosecutors want Mr Mills to stand trial on corruption charges that could carry a 12-year prison sentence.

Now, a source close to the inquiry has revealed, investigators are probing documents - some seized in London - to discover precisely what duties Mr Mills performed for one of Mr Berlusconi's companies, Publitalia.

The publishing concern, part of Mr Berlusconi's Fininvest group, was named in a dossier compiled last year by judges in Palermo, Sicily, at the end of a major Mafia trial.

Publitalia had been named in the trial as a company through which tens of millions of pounds had been laundered on the instructions of Mafia dons. Mr Berlusconi's closest confidant, Marcello dell'Utri, had been found guilty of working with the Mafia. He was sentenced to nine years in prison, but is currently free pending an appeal.

Now investigators are examining Mr Mills's connection with dell'Utri and Publitalia.

Mr Mills says he has never met dell'Utri, a Sicilian who helped form Mr Berlusconi's Forza Italia political party, but he has admitted creating the documentation and signing the forms that made dell'Utri a director of Publitalia.

Mr Mills also set up Publitalia International in Britain for Mr Berlusconi's Fininvest in 1985. Questioned about workingfor Fininvest at a court case in London three years ago, Mr Mills said his relationship with the company only began in 1989 or 1990, several years after Publitalia was set up in London.

This was later proved to be incorrect - his involvement actually began in 1980. Mr Mills attributed the discrepancy to a "failure of memory". …

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