Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018
MILAN

Berlusconi taken to hospital with eye problem

English
© ANSA

Milan, March 8 - Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi was
taken to hospital Friday for an eye problem he claims is an
impediment to his attending a Milan trial for having sex with an
underage prostitute.
Berlusconi went into Milan's San Raffaele hospital as judges
were considering his request to skip a hearing because of his
uveitis, an irritation and swelling of the uvea, the middle
layer of the eye.
Lawyers for the three-time premier said "his condition has
got considerably worse".
Earlier, Prosecutor Ilda Boccassini appealed to judges in
the so-called Rubygate trial to reject Berlusconi's plea, saying
"there has been an escalation of medical certificates recently".
Boccassini was expected to wrap up her cross-examination of
the defendant and deliver her closing arguments by the middle of
the month, with a verdict to come soon after.
Berlusconi and his supporters have accused Milan judges of
continuing politically inspired prosecution with a flurry of
verdicts slated to be handed down after the recent election,
where Berlusconi came second.
On Wednesday the first verdict, a guilty one carrying a
one-year sentence, came in for involvement in the publication of
an illegally obtained wiretap about a bank takeover that
embarrassed a centre-left leader in 2005.
A Milan appeals court is also scheduled to rule later this
month on Berlusconi's appeal against a one-year sentence for
fraud in purchasing film rights for his Mediaset TV empire.
In Rubygate, Berlusconi accused of paying a 17-year-old
Moroccan-born nightclub dancer for sex after a 'bunga bunga'
party at his villa in 2010, when she was 17 - under the legal
age for prostitution in Italy, 18.
He is also charged with subsequently abusing his position as
premier to spring her from a police station where she was being
held on an unrelated theft claim.
After Thursday's conviction in the wiretap case, Berlusconi
and his People of Freedom (PdL) party angrily reaffirmed they
would fight alleged judicial persecution with street protests.
This week the PdL said it would hold monthly "freedom
square" protests, the first on March 23, 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.
"It's increasingly clear that there is an attempt to
eliminate Silvio Berlusconi via judicial means, as attempts to
do so via electoral and democratic ones have failed," said PdL
Secretary Angelino Alfano.
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
verdict.

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