Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018

32 set to be probed for perjury in Ruby trial


Milan, June 25 - The 32 witnesses who testified in
ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's defence in a trial where he was
convicted of sex with an underage prostitute are likely to be
probed on suspicion of perjury, judicial sources said Tuesday.
Berlusconi was found guilty Monday of paying Karima 'Ruby'
El Mahroug for sex and abusing his office to cover it up.
He was sentenced to seven years in prison and banned for
life from public office - a conviction Berlusconi's lawyers have
said he will appeal.
The defence witnesses, who include a junior minister in the
unprecedented left-right government backed by Berlusconi, will
"automatically" be placed under investigation when Milan judges
issue their explanation for the verdict in September, sources
El Mahroug, a former nightclub dancer better known under
her stage name Ruby Heartstealer, denied at a separate pimping
trial that she slept with Berlusconi.
But she did not testify at the Ruby trial and is not on the
It includes three members of Berlusconi's centre-right
People of Freedom (PdL) Party - Deputy Foreign Minister Bruno
Archi, MP Valentino Valentini and MEP Licia Ronzulli.
Left-wing opponents of centre-left Premier Enrico Letta's
government have called for Archi to quit.
Carlo Rossella, chairman of the Medusa Film company - part
of the media empire controlled by the Berlusconi family - is on
the list, as is Giorgia Iafrate, the police officer who ignored
a recommendation from a juvenile court official and released
Ruby to Berlusconi's former dental hygienist and then PdL
Lombardy regional councillor Nicole Minetti.
Berlusconi was convicted of abusing his office as premier
to get Ruby freed after she was detained on a 3,000-euro theft
claim made by a former friend.
He said he wanted to avoid a diplomatic incident because
Ruby was the niece of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
She has admitted to posing as Mubarak's niece.
Prosecutors also say 18 among 32 young women who took part
in Berlusconi's parties perjured themselves.
The women, like Archi, Rossella and the others, supported
the former premier's claim that the gatherings were not 'bunga
bunga' sex parties but innocent and merry affairs featuring
burlesque performances.

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