Silvio Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi, the billionaire tycoon, who stood down as premier in November 2011, is accused of bribing Briton David Mills with $600,000 (Euro 440,000) in exchange for providing false evidence during two trials in the mid-1990s.

Mills, who was Berlusconi’s tax lawyer, had written a letter to the Inland Revenue claiming that he had received the money from the former prime minister.

But in December, Mills did an-about turn and said that he had falsely accused the Italian former premier of bribing him, and declined to testify due to ill health. The court ordered Mills to undergo a medical examination by Friday to determine his state of health. The lawyer, speaking via video-link from London, said that, owing to cardiac problems, he could “not testify for at least two weeks”.

Berlusconi on Monday appeared on track to have one corruption case dropped after Mills withdrew his allegations.