Italian prosecutors have said they will not delay a corruption hearing into David Mills, the estranged husband of Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell.
Mr Mills denies wrongdoing
Magistrates in Milan are deciding whether to indict Mr Mills and Italy's Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi.
The defence team had asked for more time to look at complex documents.
It is alleged Mr Mills, a lawyer, was paid a bribe by Mr Berlusconi after giving helpful testimony in court. Both men deny the allegation.
The defence team in Italy had asked for two more weeks to look at documents, but this request was refused.
Under Italian law, the matter has to go to trial within two years or not at all.
Mr Mills and Ms Jowell announced the break-up of their marriage at the weekend, with Mr Mills' lawyer blaming this on the furore over the payment - which Mr Mills says came from another client.
Ms Jowell has denied any wrongdoing in connection with her husband's finances, and was judged last week by Tony Blair not to have broken the ministers' code.