Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018

Berlusconi lawyer suggested cosy court-prosecutor relations


(see related story)
Rome, June 3 - Silvio Berlusconi's defence team on
Monday reiterated its claim of bias against the Milan court
hearing a trial into allegations the ex-premier paid to have sex
with an underage prostitute.
Lawyer Niccolo' Ghedini, who is also a lawmaker for
Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, also suggested the
court had cosy relations with prosecutors.
In several ongoing and previous trials, Berlusconi has
always denied wrongdoing, claiming he is the victim of a
minority group of allegedly left-wing prosecutors and judges who
he says are persecuting him for political reasons.
Last month Italy's supreme Court of Cassation rejected
Berlusconi's petition for the sex trial and for an unsuccessful
appeal against a four-year conviction for fraud at his media
empire to be transferred to Brescia, saying claims of bias by
Milan judges were "defamatory accusations".
Ghedini, however, said the defence's position had not
changed as it responded to the prosecution's request Berlusconi
be handed a six-year jail term for allegedly paying for sex with
a Moroccan former dancer known as Ruby before she was 18 and
allegedly abusing his power in a bid to cover up the affair.
"The impression is that I generate annoyance as the defence
lawyer," said Ghedini.
"The prosecution does not seem to generate a similar
annoyance," added the lawyer, who said the judges shared
"cultural closeness" to the prosecutors.
"Right or wrongly, we consider the court prejudiced".
Berlusconi and Ruby, whose real name is Karima El Mahroug,
both deny having sex and say monies the woman received from the
ex-premier were gifts.
Lead prosecutor Ilda Boccassini told the court last month
that there was "no doubt" Ruby was a prostitute and had had sex
with Berlusconi.
The court is expected to announce its verdict on June 24.

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