Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018
MILAN

Mora backpedals on Berlusconi party 'excess'

English
© ANSA

(By Emily Backus)
Milan, June 28 - Bankrupt ex-talent scout Lele
Mora, on trial with two others for allegedly procuring
prostitutes for ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, appeared to
backpedal on Friday after telling judges in a Milan court that
he was a "passive accomplice" in the alleged sex-parties at
Berlusconi's Arcore residence, and that the evenings did
constitute "excess, abuse of power and degradation".
At the beginning of the trial hearing, before his attorneys
presented their defense argument, Mora read a prepared, brief
declaration outside of regular court proceedings.
"It's true that I participated in Silvio Berlusconi's
parties at Arcore. It is true that I accompanied a number of
girls. But I never meant to condition them, I never judged their
behaviour, and I never channeled their conduct with
constraints," said Mora.
Mora also admitted that the parties constituted "excess" as
well as "abuse of power and degradation - three words that I
read in the newspapers and that I share".
Mora explained that during various periods spent in prison
on bankruptcy-related charges, he "had the chance to think a
lot," that he no longer wanted to "eat rotten food" and he
apologized to journalists and left-wing individuals at whom he
had lashed out in the past.
"I am ashamed of many disputes against journalists and
Communists that I started in the past, and I want to apologise
without ifs or buts," Mora said.
Mora also admitted that he received a loan from Berlusconi
with which he could have saved his company from bankruptcy, but
said he had already "taken responsibility" for
bankruptcy-related charges, and "for this judgement, you judges
will decide".
"I want out of this hellish storm that has taken the light
away from me," Mora added.
But later during a hearing break, he was qualifying
statements with journalists.
"At Arcore, there was nothing bad. When I spoke of
'degradation' I spoke of what a newspaper had reported," he
said.
Mora also told journalists, "There was never prostitution
at Arcore".
Earlier this month, retired TV anchorman Emilio Fede, one
of the two defendants on trial with Mora, lashed out at
prosecutors on asking to be treated as a "human".
Prosecutors compared Fede and Mora, to "tasters of fine
wine" saying that they tested the girls before putting them into
"the circuit of the Arcore nights".
Fede, in a letter to prosecutors, demanded "respect,
because in front of you there are, with all their rights and
duties, human beings".
The verdict for Fede, Mora and Berlusconi's former dental
hygenist and former Lombardy regional councillor Nicole Minetti
is expected on July 12.

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