Italy's Lower House Alters Statute Of Limitations Supporters of Italy's prime minister have pushed through a bill that would reduce the time allowed to prosecute and try criminal cases. Proponents say the much-needed overhaul is intended to speed up the Italian judicial system. Critics see it as another effort to protect the prime minister from prosecution.
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Italy's Lower House Alters Statute Of Limitations

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Italy's Lower House Alters Statute Of Limitations

Italy's Lower House Alters Statute Of Limitations

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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports from Rome.

SYLVIA POGGIOLI: Unidentified Group: (Chanting in Italian)

POGGIOLI: Unidentified Woman: (Singing in Latin)

POGGIOLI: Berlusconi is currently on trial in three cases, and risks arraignment in a fourth. The new law would effectively bring to an end this summer a trial in which he's accused of bribing a lawyer to give false evidence. This is how Berlusconi spoke to his supporters Monday outside the Milan courthouse.

SILVIO BERLUSCONI: (Through translator) These magistrates do not work for the country, but against it. All these accusations are absurd. These trials are simply a means to sling mud at a political adversary who is the only obstacle to the left-winning power.

POGGIOLI: Sylvia Poggioli, NPR News, Rome.

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