A Milan court on Monday ordered former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi and British lawyer David Mills to stand trial on charges of corruption.
Berlusconi is accused of ordering the payment in 1997 of at least US$600,000 to Mills in exchange for the lawyer's false testimony in two trials against Berlusconi. Both men deny the allegations. Mills is married to British Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell. They formally separated last March.
Milan Judge Fabio Paparella issued the ruling after refusing a defense motion to remove him from the case.
If convicted, Mills and Berlusconi could be sentenced to between three and eight years in prison, prosecutors have said.