On 17 February 2009, UK government minister Tessa Jowell's husband David Mills was sentenced to four and a half years jail in Italy for corruption.
Mills was also fined €250,000 by a court in Milan for taking a bribe from Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to give false evidence in two corruption trials.
Prosecutors said Mills used the money on a joint mortgage with Tessa Jowell to obtain a property in north London.
Mills is unlikely to go to jail as the case will go before two appeal courts and that has to be before February 2010, otherwise it passes the deadline for Italy's Statute of Limitations.
Berlusconi will escape because a law was passed in 2008 which made senior government figures immune from prosecution.
Jowell's husband gets jail term for corruption
1. David Mills set up a company whose directors included Mr Dell'Utri who acted 'as the intermediary between Silvio Berlusconi's political party and the mafia'.
Mr Dell'Utri's 'mafia links began in his youth', a Palermo court heard, 'and in 1993 he met with the the mafia's governing Cupola to successfully solicit its vote-gathering powers on behalf of Mr Berlusconi'.
Source: Mills linked to mafia go-between
"Italian prosecution documents seen by The Times allege that the Home Office blatantly jeopardised an investigation designed to bring Mr Mills to trial.
"The prosecutors claimed that the Home Office had harmed their inquiry and a move to extradite Mr Mills, by revealing 'extremely sensitive information' to the Berlusconi Government — the targets of the probe.
"Simultaneously, the Serious Fraud Office suddenly stopped dealing directly with the prosecutors in Milan."
3. David Mills is the brother-in-law of Barbara Mills, formerly director of the Serious Fraud Office and formerly Director of Public Prosecutions.
4. In 2003, it was revealed that David Mills was involved in a project to sell jet aircraft to Iran.
In the summer of 2002 Mills talked to Baroness Symons, then a Foreign Office minister, about his interests in Iran.
According to The Observer:
He was trying to broker a $200m deal to sell aircraft to Iran but the problem was that the US had strict sanctions prohibiting this. Mills explained the difficulty to his wife's colleague.
Symons asked him to drop her a letter - a copy of which was leaked last January and revealed how Symons had given him advice on proceeding with the deal.
The Observer has now obtained the original letter which Mills wrote to Symons on 9 July 2002, 10 days after the Oxford dinner.
Mills wrote: 'Dear Liz... I am sure HMG [government] will wish to offer such support as it can to smooth the path with our American friends...
'The ministerial code states that ministers must declare to their permanent secretary the financial interests of their spouses if they could appear to be a potential conflict of interest.
At the time Mills, who had travelled to Tehran, confirmed that he had discussed his Iranian work with Jowell, so she was aware of it.
When contacted by The Observer in May 2003 about the original potentially sanctions-busting deal, Mills initially claimed that Jowell's permanent secretary had been informed, but he later admitted that this was not the case.
5. In 1996, Mills set up banking arrangements to handle payments in a GBP 300 million military contract for the Ukraine to sell 320 tanks to Pakistan.
It was in the early 1980s, that Mills was put in charge of creating a complex web of offshore companies on behalf of Italian prime minister Berlusconi.
These companies were in tax havens such as Panama. Berlusconi, allegedly used these companies to evade tax, bribe judges and make illegal payments to footballers.
Source Daily Mail 23 Feb 2006 http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2006/02/23/1402656.htm
6. Back on 29 July 1999, Express Newspapers related:"THE husband of Health Minister Tessa Jowell is to be questioned by Scotland Yard as part of an investigation into a shipment of blood infected with the deadly HIV virus...
"Italian magistrates are investigating a London-based company which was behind the planned shipment of 25 tons of blood plasma worth up to £2million from a port in Italy.
"In another episode Mr Mills was caught up in a nuclear waste controversy. A company he had formed for clients was named in a Greenpeace report into toxic waste dumping at sea."
Mills name was also linked to an alleged fraud involving Hydrofoils .
7. After Blair won the 1997 general election, he made Jowell his public health minister.
According to The Observer ( How the lawyer's pub deal brewed a storm of trouble ) :
At the time Jowell was involved in discussions with the drinks industry about a range of issues from relaxing drinking regulations to alcopops. She was also working on a white paper about the future of tobacco use that would see the government back away from banning smoking in pubs...
Documents obtained by The Observer reveal that on 8 February 1998, Mills used a company based in the British Virgin Islands to buy 90,895 shares in a little-known firm called the Old Monk Company...
The Old Monk Company is involved with pubs and drink.
Mills pumped £80,000 into the company...
Reportedly the shares were sold, on 3 September 1999, for £147,977.
Assuming the detailed evidence collected by the Italian prosecutor is accurate, this suggests that in a space of just 18 months while his wife was public health minister, Mills had turned a profit of £67,000 - a return of more than 80 per cent...
Opponents are likely to seize on this as an apparent conflict of interest that should have been declared.
The Observer article continues:
Within 18 months the Labour Party would be trying to secure votes at the 2001 General Election by sending out text messages to students saying: 'Cdnt give a XXXX 4 lst ordrs? Then vote Labour for extra time.' After Labour was returned to power, Jowell was promoted to Culture Secretary with the job of driving through the new drinking laws.
8. Jowell is to face questions over how she secured crucial Italian support for the 2012 London Games.
According to the Independent newspaper, sources from various cities in the 2012 bid said that powerful International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Mario Pescante, who as Italian Sports Minister was answerable to Berlusconi, became a surprise convert to London after initially backing it’s main rival Paris. The source said, “we were astounded and perplexed by his support for London. There was a belief that Berlusconi would virtually order Mr. Pescante to back London”.
Source: Support For London 2012 Bid May Have Been Influenced
9. The father of David Mills was a top spy.
According to The Independent:
"At the end of the war, Kenneth Mills was running MI5's operations from Gibraltar. Later, he was transferred to Jamaica and - according to a family legend - personally foiled an attempted revolution in Cuba. Its leader, Fidel Castro, survived to try again."
David Mills is the brother-in-law of Barbara Mills, formerly director of the Serious Fraud Office and formerly Director of Public Prosecutions.
Barbara Mills is married to John Mills, a leading Camden councillor and a business tycoon. David Mills and Tessa Jowell are also former Camden councillors.
David Mills has dined at Chequers. He has also played golf frequently with Alastair Campbell. He has dined with Elisabeth Murdoch. Peter Mandelson and David Blunkett have been guests at his second home, in Gloucestershire.
One of Labour's election promises was to end tobacco sponsorship of sport.
In November 1997, it emerged that the British Government was trying to protect Formula 1 racing from an EU-wide ban. Mr Mills was both legal adviser to and a former director of Benetton Formula 1. His wife, as Minister for Public Health, was responsible for government policy on smoking.
It emerged that the Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone had secretly donated £1m to Labour funds.
Italian prosecutors began searching for the money trails leading to and from Silvio Berlusconi.
Mills gave evidence at Berlusconi's two trials, in 1997 and 1998.
10. Reportedly, Mills is linked to a corrupt land deal involving a convicted criminal.
The following is extracted from The Guardian 6 February 2006
Mr Mills was linked to a corrupt land deal involving the convicted criminal whom he now insists was the source of the £350,000 payment at the heart of many of the couple's problems.
Italian prosecutors are reported to have discovered that Mr Mills was the administrator of a company registered in the Isle of Man that bought into the deal in the port of Salerno in 1992.
The chief beneficiary, Diego Attanasio, was jailed for bribing officials to ensure the deal went through, and is now appealing against his sentence.
This would mean, according to Mr Mills' current account of his affairs and according to Ms Jowell's statement last week to Sir Gus O'Donnell, the cabinet secretary, that their London home was paid for, in part, by a convicted criminal.
Berlusconi and Blair
11. The following is extracted from
March 2 2006
In Milan yesterday, people close to the investigation spoke to the Financial Times.
They confirmed that they were investigating whether Mr Mills received up to $1m from Mr Berlusconi, a bigger sum than reported previously, in return for favourable testimony that he gave during corruption hearings against the Italian prime minister.
According to the prosecutors, who have used analysis conducted by KPMG, the audit firm, about $1m of the $2m transferred on the orders of the Bahamas group was used on business dealings with Diego Attanasio, a shipping magnate.
Of the rest, $600,000 was cycled through financial and legal groups in Gibraltar and Switzerland before being invested in various places including two hedge funds, Giano Capital and Torrey Global Offshore.
The remaining $400,000, they said, was diverted to bank accounts controlled by Mr Mills and still under investigation...
12. Italian officials say Culture Secretary Tessa Jowells' husband David Mills, 61, was paid to give false evidence in court for Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi. Mr Mills denies that. He admits writing a letter to his accountants where he appears to be describing a payment, but claims he was inventing a scenario to get tax advice.
In January 2003, Giuffre told a court that Marcello Dell'Utri, a close aide to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, promised to help the mafia in return for electoral support for Berlusconi's party, Forza Italia.
Reportedly the mafia helped Forza Italia in March 1992 when it ordered the murder of Salvo Lima, a Sicilian Christian Democrat.
Mr Giuffre said the mafia had been in contact with members of Mr Berlusconi's Fininvest company.The Mafia received assurances that Berlusconi's party would rein in the police, soften jail conditions for mafiosi and change laws.
14. Tony Blair is a close friend of Berlusconi and has stayed with him on holiday in Italy.
Tessa Jowell was one of Blair's top ministers. Her husband, David Mills, has worked closely with Berlusconi.
1994 Investigators start to look at offshore businesses belonging to Berlusconi.
1996 The UK Serious Fraud Office stages a raid on an office that is connected with Mills over the activities of Berlusconi’s companies.
1997 Mills allegedly misleads an Italian court trying Berlusconi.
1998 The lawyer allegedly makes a false declaration during a second hearing.
1999 A £350,000 “gift” is placed for Mills in an offshore hedge fund.
2000 Mills and Jowell take out a mortgage of £450,000.2000 The £350,000 “gift” is brought onshore in order to repay the mortgage.
2004 Mills tells his accountants that the gift has come from “the B people”.
2004 Mills tells Italian prosecutors that the money was from Berlusconi, but later retracts this.
2006 Mills’s home and office are raided by British police at the request of Italians.
16. Tessa Jowell is bringing Vegas-style Gambling to the U.K.
LONDON, March 26 2002 (UPI) -
The British government announced Tuesday it will open the country's doors to Las Vegas-style casinos...
Plans for a new era of easy gambling across Britain were unveiled in a government White Paper outlined by Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell.
The new legislation will scrap many of the restrictive laws imposed 34 years ago, mainly to prevent "problem betting" and control of casinos by the Mafia and other gangsters...
by Janice Turner, Times (UK), October 24, 2004
A LEAFLET from my local MP came through my door this week. There is a picture of jolly Tessa Jowell...
Huge US companies have already earmarked sites in run-down areas such as Salford and Hull...
I voted for Tessa, expecting an MP who would combat the gambling industry, not act as its pimp."
Blair adviser acted for Packer casinos:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1827639,00.html
Blunkett : £70,000 http://politics.guardian.co.uk/blunkett/story/0,15648,1606662,00.html
Britain's network of child drug runners: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1593312,00.html