Sabato, 20 Ottobre 2018

Berlusconi friends denounce prosecution's case in sex trial


Rome, May 13 - Associates of ex-premier Silvio
Berlusconi reacted quickly and angrily Monday after a prosecutor
called for a six-year prison sentence on charges of having sex
with a minor and abuse of office.
The defence in the case against Berlusconi, who is accused
of having sex with the exotic dancer known as Ruby and abusing
his influence to cover it up, will present its side on June 3.
A court ruling is expected on June 24.
But the politician's friends immediately denounced Milan
prosecutor Ilda Boccassini's words and case as mere slander.
"The words and tone used by the prosecutor Boccassini are
proof of prejudice against Berlusconi, and intolerable political
persecution," said Senator Altero Matteoli.
Berlusconi used his ownership of Mediaset's Canale 5 to air
a television special one day earlier about his legal woes and
complaints that he is being persecuted by a left-wing judiciary.
Daniele Capezzone, chairman of the House finance committee
and a member of Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party,
called the prosecutor's comments "absurd and surreal" and the
case "absolutely fragile and inconsistent".
Besides the jail term, Boccassini also called for a
lifetime ban against Berlusconi holding public office.
Berlusconi is charged with allegedly having sex with Karima
El Mahroug, better known as Ruby, while she was under the legal
age of 18, and allegedly abusing his position as premier to
spring her from a police station on an unrelated theft claim.
Berlusconi and Ruby deny having sex, but Boccassini told
the court there was "no doubt" Ruby was a prostitute and had had
sex with Berlusconi.
Berlusconi's defence lawyer Nicolo Ghedini said the request
for a six-year combined jail term for the ex-premier was "very
high, especially when compared to the historical precedent".

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