Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Judges huddle for Berlusconi sex-trial verdict

Expand Messages
  • insubria87
    Judges huddle for Berlusconi sex-trial verdict Prosecutors requested six-year prison term for ex-premier 24 June, 13:34 Guarda la foto1 di 1 (ANSA) - Milan,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 24, 2013
    • 0 Attachment

      Judges huddle for Berlusconi sex-trial verdict

      Prosecutors requested six-year prison term for ex-premier

      24 June, 13:34
      (ANSA) - Milan, June 24 - A panel of Milan judges retired for consultations on Monday to decide on a verdict in a trial into allegations ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi paid for sex with an underage prostitute and abused his power to try to cover up the affair.

      Prosecutors have requested the media magnate be handed a six-year prison term - five years for abuse of office and one for using an underage prostitute at alleged Bunga Bunga sex parties at his home.

      They have also called for Berlusconi to be banned for life from holding public office.

      Berlusconi and the woman he is accused of paying for sex before she was 18, a Moroccan former dancer known as 'Ruby Heart-stealer', have both denied ever having sex.

      They say monies he gave her were gifts to help her set up a beauty salon, a dream she had had since escaping from an allegedly abusive Islam-enforcing father in Sicily.

      Defence laywer Niccolo' Ghedini, who is also a lawmaker for Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, said the three-time premier should be acquitted because the alleged crime involving Ruby - whose real name is Karima El Mahroug - "does not exist".

      The abuse of office charge regards Berlusconi's call to a police station on the night of May 27-28, 2010 after she was detained on an unrelated theft accusation.

      He said he called to avoid an international incident because he was under the false impression that she was a relative of Egypt's then president Hosni Mubarak.

      Ghedini said his client did not ask police to accelerate procedures for Ruby's release from police custody.

      Prosecutors, on the other hand, claim that Berlusconi, who was premier in 2010, phoned from a European leaders' meeting in Paris and pressured police in Milan to release her.

      Since she was under eighteen, a judge ordered the police to direct her to a shelter for juvenile offenders.

      Ruby was released to Nicole Minetti, a Lombardy regional councillor, ex-aspiring showgirl and Berlusconi's former dental hygienist, who was accompanied by another woman that took part in the parties.

      The young woman backs Berlusconi's version of events and recently showed reporters a passport that was manipulated to make it look like she was a member of the Mubarak family.

      In a related trial, Minetti and two other people are accused of providing prostitutes - including Ruby - for parties a Milan prosecutor described as ''Bacchic orgies'' at the home of the ex-premier. Berlusconi counters that they were ordinary dinner parties and argues the allegations have been invented by left-learning elements in the judiciary who are targeting him for political reasons as in several ongoing and previous trials. Last week Berlusconi failed in a bid to have the Constitutional Court strike down a four-year conviction for tax fraud at his media empire along with a five-year ban from public office.

      Senior PdL officials have said the party's lawmakers will quit if the sentence is upheld by the supreme Court of Cassation and becomes definitive.

      The ex-premier is also appealing a one-year term for involvement in the publication of an illegally obtained wiretap and facing indictment for allegedly buying Senators to topple a centre-left government. Lead Milan prosecutor Ilda Boccassini told the sex trial last month that there was "no doubt" Ruby was a prostitute and had sex with Berlusconi.

    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.