Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018

Court suspends Berlusconi 'Ruby' trial till April 22


Milan, March 25 - Judges in Milan on Monday
suspended the trial of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi for
allegedly paying for sex with an underage dancer named Ruby
until April 22 while the supreme Cassation Court considers a
ruling on a motion to move the case to a court in Brescia on
alleged grounds of biased judges.
A ruling at the Cassation is expected April 18.
Defence lawyers accuse the Milan judges and prosecutors of
being "hostile" to Berlusconi, as allegedly shown by their
recent orders for medical checks that an eye problem which sent
the ex-premier to hospital made him genuinely unable to attend
The trial had already been adjourned three times after
Berlusconi spent over a week in hospital with a condition
reportedly caused by someone poking him in the eye and high
blood pressure as a result.
The court had ordered the trial to resume on Monday.
Prosecutors had asked the judges not to delay the trial
again, saying the 76-year-old media magnate was in "contempt of
court" for playing for time.
Berlusconi is accused of paying to have sex with a young
Moroccan dancer, Karima El Mahroug, better known as Ruby the
Heart-stealer, before she was 18 after alleged "bunga bunga" sex
parties at his home.
Both the ex-premier and the woman deny ever having sex. She
said money she received from Berlusconi was given as part of a
Berlusconi is also accused of abuse of office for allegedly
having used his influence when he was premier to spring El
Mahroug from a Milan police station to hush up the affair after
an unrelated theft claim, saying she was the niece of then
Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
The charge of having sex with an underage prostitute
carries a jail term of up to three years, and abuse of office 12
Berlusconi's lawyers have also asked for the ex-premier's
appeals trial in Milan, which regards a four-year conviction
for tax fraud on film rights involving his Mediaset television
empire, to be moved to Brescia on the same grounds of alleged
judicial bias.
If claims of judicial bias are upheld in Italy, trials are
moved to the nearest big city.
Brescia is 82 km (51 miles) east of Milan.

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