The Curse of the Undead: Is Berlusconi Returning to Haunt Italian Politics?

My piece on the latest in Berlusconi’s trials has just been published by Time.

For those hoping to watch another nail driven into Silvio Berlusconi’s coffin, the decision last weekend by a Milan court to cut short his corruption trial must have come as a disappointment. “Everybody was waiting for the verdict to knock him out,” says Paolo Guzzanti, an independent member of Parliament and a onetime ally of the former Prime Minister. “But now, because the trial is finished, he’s going to still feel very much in the game.”

Many Italians, including it seemed Berlusconi himself, expected the court to hand down a conviction on charges that he bribed a British attorney to provide false testimony in an earlier case, thereby landing the ex-Prime Minister a politically painful blow. Instead, the court ruled the statute of limitations had expired. In Italy, the time limit is usually 10 years. In this case, the wrongdoing was alleged to have taken place in 1999, but the charges were only filed in 2006. In the meantime, several postponements in the process took place. The prosecutor apparently believed he had a few months left; the judge decided otherwise.

read the rest.