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Berlusconi cabinet backs judicial overhaul

ROME, Mar 10 – Italy\’s cabinet on Thursday adopted a controversial draft bill to overhaul the justice system as Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi faces trials for corruption, a sex crime and abuse of power.

The 16-point reform would make judges liable to pay damages in case of judicial errors and restrict the investigative powers of prosecutors, who are often accused of a left-wing bias by tycoon-turned-politician Berlusconi.

The constitutional reform would need to be approved by two-thirds majorities in both houses of parliament or be put to a popular referendum.

Experts say it is highly unlikely the reform will come any time soon as the government only holds a narrow majority in the Chamber of Deputies.

The reform is being seen by political experts as part of a fierce battle between Berlusconi and Italy\’s prosecutors. The left-wing opposition accuses Berlusconi of creating laws in order to dodge his own prosecution.

The Italian leader is set to stand trial on April 6 on charges of having sex with an underage prostitute and then using the power of his office to try and cover up the crime — criminal allegations that he has flatly denied.


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