PositionParliamentary immunity for Marcello Dell'Utri, head of Fininvest - Brief Article

During its January 24 session, the Committee on Legal Affairs voted to reject the conclusions drawn in the report by Neil Mac Cormick. He did not take part in the vote on his call to lift parliamentary immunity for Marcello Dell'Utri. Mr Dell'Utri, the head of the Fininvest group, in Spain, one of the offshoots of the media empire belonging to Silvio Berlusconi, has been at the centre, as has Mr Berlusconi himself, of a legal inqurity being conducted by the Madrid-based judge Baltasar Garzon. The case is linked to tax evasion which the commercial TV station Telecinco, which belongs to Fininvest, is said to have indulged in during the early 1990s. The fraudulent activities are alleged to involve Euro 108 billion. Mr Garzon made several requests, to no avail, for Mr Berlusconi's parliamentary immunity to be lifted.In October of last year, a few months after Mr Berlusconi returned to power at the head of the Italian Government, the judge decided to suspend the scrutiny process, but not to close it, as he wrote in an order, "as long as Mr Berlusconi is Prime Minister or has not waived his immunity or it has not been lifted by the competent Italian authorities". Conversely, the request to lift immunity for Mr Dell'Utri is still valid. The European Parliament's Committee has yet to announce its verdict on this matter but Mr Mac Cormick reckons he has enough evidence available to warrant this request, even though the bulk of the Committee (minus three dissenters) decided otherwise. They are pressing Mr Garzon to make further inquiries.This vote incurred the ire of the socialist member of the Committee, with Manuel Medina...

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