Mercoledì, 19 Settembre 2018

Berlusconi's request to move trials rejected


(supersedes previous)
Rome, May 6 - Italy's supreme Court of Cassation on
Monday rejected ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's petition to have
two trials moved from Milan over alleged judicial bias.
The 76-year-old center-right leader is accused of paying
for sex with an underage Moroccan former nightclub dancer,
Karima "Ruby" El Mahrough, and is appealing against a four-year
conviction for tax fraud at his Mediaset media empire.
Both Berlusconi and El Mahroug have denied having sex.
Prosecutors have produced phone records allegedly proving
El Mahrough stayed at Berlusconi's villa several times in
April-May 2010, when she was 17.
Sex workers can ply their trade legally in Italy from the
age of 18.
Prosecutors say Berlusconi had sex with 33 other alleged
prostitutes at his villa over the course of several evenings.
The ex-premier describes the young women, mostly aspiring
starlets, as friends who have been maligned.
He is still paying them a monthly stipend at a large
apartment complex in Milan.
Berlusconi, who says his parties were innocent and
"elegant" affairs, has quipped "33 women in two months is too
many even for someone who likes pretty girls, like me".
He claims to be the victim of biased prosecutors who have
been conducting a witch-hunt against him since he entered
politics in 1994.
The Mediaset appeal trial is set to resume Wednesday.
The trial into allegedly paying for sex with a minor is
scheduled to resume May 13.

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