July 29, 2005

Berlusconi suing British writer over book about the Mafia . . .

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Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi “is suing a British author and the Italian publisher of a book exploring corruption and organised crime in Italy” for more than €1million ($1.2 million), according to a report in the Guardian attributed to “agencies in Rome.” The book in question is Berlusconi’s Shadow: Crime, Justice and the Pursuit of Power by David Lane, published in the UK by Penguin, but Berlusconi is suing the Italian publisher Editori Laterza, which published the book in translation as L’Ombra del potere. The Guardian report says “The book looks at Mafia, organized crime and corruption in Italy,” but the “Mr Berlusconi’s camp have not clarified the basis for the defamation suit.” Lane also writes for the Economist magazine, which Berlusconi sued for libel in 2001 after an article labeled him “unfit to lead Italy.”

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives

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