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David Mills (lawyer)From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search
David Mackenzie Mills (born 1944) is a British corporate lawyer who specialises in international work for Italian companies. He was accused of money-laundering and alleged tax fraud, involving Silvio Berlusconi, he was convicted in first instance and in appeal, but the conviction was quashed by the Supreme Court of Cassation. He has been married to the Labour Party politician Tessa Jowell since 1979, though they have been separated since 2006.

Contents [hide]
1 Early and personal life
2 Professional career
3 Berlusconi and "Jowellgate"
3.1 Appeal
4 Ecclestone
5 Trading with Iran
6 References
7 External links

[edit] Early and personal lifeAccording to The Independent, his father Kenneth Mills, was a senior spy. At the end of World War II, 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.[1]

Privately educated, Mills went to University College, Oxford and qualified as a barrister in 1968.[2]

Mills has three children from his first marriage, including journalist Eleanor Mills, formerly editor of The Sunday Times News Review section[3] and later editor of The Times Saturday edition.[4]

In 1979, David Mills was married to Tessa Jowell, who had previously been married to social scientist Roger Jowell.[5] Mills and Jowell had a son and daughter.[6] In 2009, the couple owned houses in Kentish Town in north London and in Warwickshire.[6]

In March 2006, after Jowell had claimed that Mills had not told her, until four years after the event, that Mills had been given £340,000 for his work for Silvio Berlusconi, the couple "agreed to a period of separation".[7][8] However, questions have been raised as to the extent of this separation given that Mills and Jowell "appear, to all intents and purposes, very much a married couple."[9][10]

Mills is the brother-in-law of Dame Barbara Mills QC, former Director of the Serious Fraud Office (1990–1992), Director of Public Prosecutions (1992–1998) and Adjudicator for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.[11][12]

[edit] Professional careerDavid Mills was a barrister who became a commercial solicitor in the 1980s.[13] He is a former Labour councillor in the London borough of Camden, and like others involved in the London Labour party of the 1980s is close to the Blairite group of politicians and left-leaning celebrities, to which his second wife belongs.[14][15] Mills founded the niche private client law firm MacKenzie Mills which merged with Withers Worldwide in 1995.

[edit] Berlusconi and "Jowellgate"Main article: Tessa Jowell financial allegations
Mills acted for Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in the early 1990s. This has been the cause of controversy and of allegations. David Mills was involved in setting up a large number of offshore trusts for the "B Operation" as he termed Fininvest, Silvio Berlusconi's operations. Mills was investigated in Italy for money-laundering and alleged tax fraud[16][17] and on 10 March 2006 prosecutors in Milan asked a judge to order Mills and Berlusconi to stand trial on corruption charges. Prosecutors submitted 15,000 pages of documents to the preliminary hearing judge who will determine whether the case should go to full trial.

In February 2004, he had written to his accountants laying out a scenario where he would receive a large amount of money from the "B Operation" (Berlusconi's Fininvest) for having "turned some very tricky corners, to put it mildly" which "had kept Mr B out of a great deal of trouble that I would have landed him in if I had said all I knew".[18]

He admitted this story to Italian prosecutors, later retracting it and claiming that the money came from someone else. One source cited was Diego Attanasio, a shipping magnate and another Italian client of Mills. Attanasio denies this story. Questions were also asked about a woman living on a council estate in London's East End who is recorded as a director or company secretary of 19 companies which Mills established on behalf of his Italian clients.[19]

On 17 February 2009, an Italian court sentenced David Mills to four years and six months in jail for accepting a bribe from Silvio Berlusconi to give false evidence on his behalf in corruption trials in 1997 and 1998.[20]

[edit] AppealHis defence counsel said that he would appeal, claiming that the sentence went "against the logic and dynamic of the evidence presented." Ms Jowell said "although we are separated I have never doubted his innocence."[21]

On 27 October 2009, the Italian Appeal Court upheld his conviction and his sentence of 4½ years prison. He confirmed that he would initiate a second and final appeal to the Cassation Court.[22]

On 25 February 2010, the Italian Cassation Court (the second and last court of appeal under Italian law) ruled a sentence of not guilty because the statute of limitations expired.[23][24] The supreme court judges ruled that he received the money in 1999, and not 2000 as prosecutors had previously argued. He was ordered to pay €250,000 compensation to the office of the Italian prime minister for "damaging its reputation".[25]

[edit] EcclestoneMills was also involved when Formula One Racing secured a derogation from European limits on tobacco advertising after Bernie Ecclestone contributed more than one million pounds to the Labour Party during the 1997 General Election.

[edit] Trading with IranIn 2003, it was revealed he was involved in an unsuccessful deal for Iranian airline Mahan Air to buy a fleet of BAe 146 aircraft from British Aerospace. He said the sale did not go through and that he was not granted any preferential treatment. However Foreign Office Minister Baroness Symons gave advice to Mills on the political climate surrounding the project.[26]

It was subsequently disclosed that as a consequence of these dealings, Ms Jowell has been excluded from Cabinet papers and talks on Iran since 2003.[27]

[edit] References1.^ McSmith, Andy (2006-02-25). "David Mills: The networker". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
2.^ "The Minister And A £350,000 'Gift'". The Daily Mail. 2006-02-23. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
3.^ "My Mentor: Giles Hattersley on Eleanor Mills". Media (London: The Independent). 2007-11-12. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
4.^ Stephen Brook (2008-08-01). "Times confirms Eleanor Mills as new Saturday editor". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2009-02-17.
5.^ "THE MINISTER AND A GBP350,000 GIFT'". TMCnews. Daily Mail Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge. 23 February 2006. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
6.^ a b "A New Labour 'golden couple'". (BBC News). 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
7.^ "Tessa Jowell and David Mills to split". Times Online (London: The Times). 2006-03-04. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
8.^ "In Full: David Mills' statement". (BBC News). 2006-03-04. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
9.^ Neil Sears (2009-02-16). "Revealed: Tessa Jowell's 'nights' with estranged husband convicted of taking Berlusconi bribes". London: Mail Online. Retrieved 2009-03-03.
10.^ "‘Weekends together’ for Mills and Jowell". (The First Post). 2009-02-19.,1996,david-mills-and-tessa-jowell-still-spend-weekends-together,74564. Retrieved 2009-03-03.
11.^ Tom Leonard, Media Editor (8 February 2003). "Tessa Jowell's millionaire husband in fraud inquiry". The Telegraph (London).
12.^ "Competition Commission - Other members - Dame Barbara Mills, DBE, QC". 2008-03-17. Archived from the original on 2008-03-17. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
13.^ Hooper, John; Tania Branigan (24 February 2006). "The Guardian profile: David Mills". London: The Guardian.,,1716785,00.html. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
14.^ Owen, Richard; Sam Coates (February 22, 2006). "How Jowell's husband played host to Berlusconi at the Garrick Club". London: The Times.,,2-2052135,00.html. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
15.^ Tweedie, Neil; Hilary Clarke (22 Feb 2006). "Jowell has nothing to do with Italian bribe allegations, insists her husband". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
16.^ Owen, Richard (2006-02-22). "How Jowell's husband played host to Berlusconi at the Garrick Club". London: The Times.,,17129-2052135,00.html. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
17.^ Tweedie, Neil (2006-02-22). "Jowell has nothing to do with Italian bribe allegations, insists her husband". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
18.^ Owen, Richard (2006-02-20). "Jowell's husband left isolated over tax evasion case". London: The Times.,,13509-2049055_1,00.html. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
19.^ Hooper, John (2006-03-06). "Mills dogged by claims of £68,000 pub profit, and mentioning wife in tax inquiry". London: The Guardian.,,1724362,00.html. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
20.^ "Proceedings, sentence, motivations". Retrieved 2010-08-22.
21.^ Richard Owen (2009-02-17). "David Mills sentenced to jail for accepting Berlusconi bribe". Times Online (London: The Times). Retrieved 2009-02-17.
22.^ Financial Times report on Mills' appeal to Cassation Court
23.^ "David Mills bribery conviction quashed by appeals court". BBC. 2010-02-25. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
24.^ "Mills decision a boost for Berlusconi - The Irish Times-27 February 2010". The Irish Times. 2010-02-27. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
25.^ Pisa, Nick (2010-02-26). "Tessa Jowell's estranged husband David Mills 'very relieved' after Italian court quashes bribery conviction". Daily Mail (London).
26.^ Barnett, Antony (9 January 2005). "Minister's 'advice' on Iran jet deal". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
27.^ Follain, John; Jonathan Calvert and Robert Winnett (March 12, 2006). "Jowell 'misled' officials over Mills Iran link". London: The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
[edit] External linksFocus: The minister and the £350,000 gift, The Times, February 26, 2006
David Mills statement from his lawyer, The Times, 4 March 2006
Charges laid against Mills and Berlusconi, The Times, 10 March 2006
Popham, Peter (31 October 2006). "Mills and Berlusconi to face trial on corruption charges". London: The Independent.


Zoompad said...

Panorama walk-out over McCann filmWhy did TV journalist David Mills, the producer of a Panorama film on the McCann affair, quit the project before it was transmitted last week? The Observer's David Rose reveals the inside story of the latest row to hit the BBC's flagship show

reddit this David Rose
The Observer, Sunday 25 November 2007
Article history
In the credits at the end of last week's Panorama special on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, one name was conspicuous by its absence - that of David Mills, the programme's original producer. His name had disappeared from the end credits despite the fact that it was his company, Mills Productions, that had done all the research and was responsible for bringing the exclusive footage at the film's heart to the BBC.

Two weeks before transmission last Tuesday, Mills - one of Britain's most respected documentary-makers, who in his 40-year career has made 120 investigative films for broadcasters including the BBC, Granada, Thames and America's CBS - walked out of the programme after a furious row with Panorama's editor, Sandy Smith, over the programme's approach and argument.

He then wrote a stinging email to the BBC attacking Panorama for losing its journalistic passion. It has created a stir in the media world, mixing as it does the controversial issues of the McCanns and how their story is covered, journalistic balance and television current affairs.

'I had written a draft script and had already been told it was compelling,' Mills said. 'Sandy turned up with a completely different version and basically imposed it on me. I told him, "I cannot edit the film to this: it's a completely different show, and I'm not going to do it." To have this happening is very depressing.'

The incident - one of several controversies Panorama has faced this year - suggests, Mills said, that 'the BBC is no longer interested in serious current affairs'. BBC sources confirmed last night that the decisions about the programme's shape had been taken 'close to the top' of the BBC management hierarchy - which has already conducted a series of internal meetings over how the corporation should approach McCann case coverage in general.

Zoompad said...

As one of those interviewed by Mills and the programme's reporter, Richard Bilton, I can attest to how different the programme shown was to what they told me less than a month ago that they were envisaging. Along with The Observer's Ned Temko, who has covered the case for this newspaper, I ended up on the cutting-room floor. At that stage - as Mills's draft script makes plain - his intention was to make an analytical, investigative programme that would have been very critical of the Portuguese police, not only for the errors in their investigation, but for their apparent campaign of disinformation designed to put pressure on Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. It would also have criticised both the local and British press over allegations that they recycled unfounded rumours with little sign of fact-checking or detachment.

It would, as Mills confirmed again yesterday, have scrutinised the various allegations that have been floated against the McCanns and concluded they are baseless: 'We had an investigative team looking into the story for weeks. Our assessment was that the purported DNA evidence was weak and inconclusive, while so far as we could tell the supposedly significant "discrepancies" between the stories told by the McCanns' friends about the night of Madeleine's disappearance amount to very little indeed.'

The original film would have compared Madeleine to the JonBenet Ramsey case in Colorado, about which Mills has made three previous documentaries. After the body of JonBenet, a child beauty pageant winner aged six, was found in her parents' Boulder home, they were vilified by the police and media, despite their continued insistence that they had nothing to do with her death. They claimed she had been killed by an intruder. Mills's version of the McCann Panorama featured an interview - eventually not used - with JonBenet's father, John, in which he said that the Colorado police 'did a great job of convincing the media and the world that we were guilty, but they couldn't charge us, because of course they had no case'. Years later DNA evidence proved beyond doubt that JonBenet had been killed by an intruder. John Ramsey told Panorama: 'It's a life-time damage. No question about it.'

Zoompad said...

The programme on the McCanns that was broadcast by Panorama was much less ambitious. It recited the case both for and against the McCanns, but had nothing harsh to say about either the police or the media. It did include new material, including a video diary shot of the McCanns in Portugal by their friend John Corner - footage that had been acquired by Mills and had led to his company getting the BBC commission.

It also cast doubt on some of the wilder claims published by the tabloids, and contained the first interview with Jane Tanner, one of the McCanns' companions on the holiday in Praia de Luz last May, who said that she was certain she had seen a girl who looked like Madeleine being carried in the street by a strange man around the time she is thought to have disappeared. But the programme avoided firm conclusions.

Having handed the film's editing over to a colleague, Mills emailed Smith on Monday, the day before transmission, saying he felt compelled to remove both his name and his company's from the credits. 'In part this is because its muddled structure and lack of narrative drive means it is far below the standard of any work that I or my company would wish to be associated with,' the email said. 'In part, too, my decision reflects the programme's intellectual impoverishment. The McCann case poses issues of real importance which Panorama should have examined. That it is instead running a laboured, pedestrian, extended news report is shameful.

'But the most important reason for my decision is that because the programme is insufficiently analytical it verges on the dishonest. Our lengthy investigation revealed that there is no meaningful evidence against the McCanns... The real question must be how, without any meaningful evidence, the Portuguese police and the media in Portugal and Britain have been able to convince most people that the couple were involved.'

Zoompad said...

Mills had been working closely with a CBS team, which also used the video diary footage. They, he told Smith, had concluded it was 'ludicrous' and 'crazy' to think the McCanns could have caused the death or disappearance.

Smith emailed Mills back, accusing him of wanting to broadcast 'advocate journalism', and pointing out that the broadcast version did describe some of the allegations against the McCanns as 'tenuous, to put it mildly'. Smith said that, while it was true that the programme 'changed substantively,' this was because 'it is a current affairs programme and it was overtaken by events'. He added: 'To get Jane Tanner and some of the McCann family meant that some of the other stuff moved to the edge, and the original version was just not journalistically as important.'

Mills disagrees. 'So far as I can see, investigative journalism at the BBC is over,' he said. 'The broadcast script contains nuances that suggest that the McCanns still have a case to answer. The BBC should have had the courage to state that this is simply not so.'

Clarence Mitchell, the former BBC reporter who is the McCanns' spokesman, said Kate and Gerry were 'content' with the broadcast version and accepted that events meant it had to change. He said they had spoken to Bilton and told him they considered the film to be 'fair'.

Other McCann family members were less happy. John, Gerry's brother, whose interview was broadcast, said: 'It wasn't the programme that I was told they were going to make. They've made something very different, and I am disappointed, because I'd hoped the full story was going to be told. Nevertheless I'm pleased they interviewed Jane Tanner. She said she saw Madeleine being abducted, and we want people to remember that.'

The row follows controversies over previous films this year, such as a report on Scientology by former Observer journalist John Sweeney, in which he lost his temper and turned - in his words - into an 'exploding tomato,' and a story claiming that wi-fi technology might be harmful, which was denounced by some scientists as 'irresponsible'.

As someone who once spent a year reporting for Panorama myself, I know that no BBC programme is more closely scrutinised and, sometimes, fought over. The fact remains some of its most distinguished contributors, including Tom Mangold and John Ware, have left in recent years, and that it has been repeatedly accused of punching below its weight. Mills is not a marginal figure, and the CBS film with which he was collaborating was much firmer in its conclusion that the McCanns had to be innocent.

Last night the BBC hierarchy was closing ranks to resist Mills's arguments. Outside the corporation, they may not be as easily dismissed.

Zoompad said...

'Your programme verges on the dishonest'

From: David

Sent: 19 November, 2007 12:12

To: 'Sandy Smith'

Subject: credit

Dear Sandy,

As you know, in the end I felt I could not leave either my name or my company credit on the programme.

In part this is because its muddled structure and lack of narrative drive means it is far below the standard of any work that I or my company would wish to be associated with.

In part, too, my decision reflects the programme's intellectual impoverishment. The McCann case poses issues of real importance which Panorama should have examined. That it is instead running a laboured, pedestrian extended news report is shameful.

But the most important reason for my decision is that because the programme is insufficiently analytical; it verges on the dishonest. Our lengthy investigation revealed that there is no meaningful evidence against the McCanns. Our CBS colleagues concluded that it was 'ludicrous' and 'crazy' to think them involved and that ... 'the child was abducted'.

The real question must be how, without any meaningful evidence, the Portuguese police and the media in Portugal and Britain have been able to convince most people that the couple were involved. Yet while the programme drips innuendos against the McCanns, it does not put a single challenging question to anyone in the Portuguese police or to anyone in the media. This is truly astonishing.

David Mills

Zoompad said...