NAPLES, Italy – Silvio Berlusconi's political corruption trial has opened in the southern city of Naples, presenting yet another legal challenge for the three-time former Italian premier.
Berlusconi is accused in the trial that opened Tuesday of paying a senator 3 million euros ($4 million) to switch parties, weakening a rival government that eventually fell.
Berlusconi, who denies the charge, remains an influential political force despite being stripped of his Senate seat for a tax fraud conviction last fall. He still faces a prison sentence in that case.
The corruption case has ignited a new political storm in Rome after the Senate president announced the legislative body would seek to be a civil party in the case, as permitted by Italian law. Majority whip Pietro Grasso has been accused of partisanship.