Berlusconi accused by Mafia hitman



Italy’s government was rocked by accusations made by a Mafia hitman that Silvio Berlusconi had made commitments to Sicily’s Cosa Nostra as he was about to enter politics 15 years ago.


Gaspare Spatuzza, the Mafia turncoat testifying in a court in Turin, claimed he had been told by a top Sicilian mobster that Mr Berlusconi and his long-time business associate, Marcello Dell’Utri, had given "everything" the Mafia had wanted.


"Thanks to the seriousness of these people, they have practically put the country in our hands," Mr Spatuzza quoted Giuseppe Graviano as saying.


The prime minister’s office rejected the allegations, accusing Mr Spatuzza of seeking to sabotage the government’s crackdown on Cosa Nostra.


The case is fuelling existing divisions in Mr Berlusconi’s coalition and is likely to exacerbate a war between the prime minister and judges he accuses of waging a political witch-hunt.


Adding to the image of a prime minister under siege, the court proceedings were broadcast live by Sky Italia, a satellite network owned by Rupert Murdoch, who Mr Berlusconi--a billionaire with his own media empire--has accused of joining the battle against him for commercial reasons.




witch- hunt:名詞,字面意義為獵巫,指的是為打壓異己而進行的迫害行動。例句:The people in authority launched a witch-hunt campaign to the so-called ’turncoats’ of the party.(當權派對黨內所謂「叛徒」展開追殺行動。)

under siege:處於被包圍狀態。例句:The city is under siege.(這座城市被包圍了。)

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