Statute of Limitations Expires on Silvio Berlusconi Corruption Trial

Silvio Berlusconi walks away from charges he bribed a lawyer $600,000 to lie for him under oath -- but only because the statute of limitations has expired.

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Silvio Berlusconi's five-year-long corruption trial finally ended today, the AP reports, and the former Italian premier has gotten off. Which is not to say Berlusconi isn't guilty of having paid a British lawyer $600,000 to lie under oath about shady offshore investments back in the 1990s -- it just means the statute of limitations on such a malfeasance has expired. The result is more a symptom of Italy's flawed legal system than anything else, where the expiration clock continues to tick even after the trial commences.

What's next for Berlusconi, now 75, who resigned last November amid growing outrage over his hedonistic lifestyle and apathetic attitudes towards solving the country's economic woes? Three more trials, including one over that matter of whether or not he paid a Moroccan teenager for sexual services between February and May 2010. No doubt he's nervously eyeing the clock on that one, as well.

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