Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018

Berlusconi's party vows 'rebellion' after one-year sentence


(see related story)
Rome, March 7 - Silvio Berlusconi's People of
Freedom (PdL) party on Thursday said there would be a
"rebellion" after the ex-premier was sentenced to a year in jail
over the publication of an illegal wiretap.
Berlusconi's supporters said the ruling was part of a
campaign by some left-wing magistrates, who they say are
targeting the 76-year-old media magnate for political motives.
"Expect a rebellion against this way of administering
justice," said Sandro Bondi, a senior PdL member and former
culture minister.
"Today's sentence sounds like a ridiculous insult to
intelligence and to justice.
"At this rate the country will mount an open rebellion - a
civil and democratic rebellion, but a full-blown rebellion
This week the PdL said it would hold monthly "freedom
square" protests to demonstrate against "concentric attacks" by
prosecutors against Berlusconi.
The move came after it emerged that Berlusconi was being
probed in Naples for allegedly paying three million euros to
Senator Sergio De Gregorio to switch sides from the centre left
to the centre right.
De Gregorio, who prosecutors say has admitted to receiving
bribes, defected from the centre left during Romano Prodi's
2006-2008 government and eventually joined Berlusconi's party.
Berlusconi is on also trial in Milan over accusations he
paid for sex with an underage Moroccan dancer, and is accused of
abuse of office in the same case.
He is appealing against a one-year conviction he was handed
last year for tax fraud on film rights for his Mediaset TV group
In the ongoing and several other previous trials,
Berlusconi has always denied wrongdoing, claiming he is the
victim of judicial persecution.
Berlusconi has been tried some 30 times but has only been
convicted three times - verdicts that were either timed out or
overturned on appeal - prior to last year's Mediaset fraud
Piero Longo, one of Berlusconi's attorneys and a PdL
lawmaker, said there was no evidence for Thursday's conviction
but added he was not surprised by the decision because it was
made in Milan, the base for several of the cases against the
"I think it's the first time anyone has been sentenced (in
Italy) for breach of judicial secrecy," said Longo.
"With utmost respect for the judges, I don't think the
magistrates have any feelings," he added when asked if the
sentence was political.

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