Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018
MILAN

>>>ANSA/ Berlusconi's 'sex-party pimps' found guilty

English
© ANSA

(By Christopher Livesay)
Milan, July 19 - A Milan court on Friday sentenced
three associates of three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi for
providing him with prostitutes, one of whom was a showgirl known
as Ruby who was underage at the time.
Lele Mora, a former talent scout, Emilio Fede, a TV
anchorman, and Nicole Minetti, the ex-premier's former dental
hygienist and ex-Lombardy councilor, were convicted of
organizing alleged 'bunga bunga' sex parties at Berlusconi's
Arcore residence in the closely watched case.
Fede and Mora were both given seven-year prison sentences
and banned for life from public office while Minetti was
sentenced to five years in prison and banned from office for
just as many years.
The three are expected to appeal.
In their closing arguments, 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".
Signs that judges were expected to rule against the three
began to show at the end of last month when Mora told judges he
was "a passive accomplice" in the affair and that the evenings
constituted "excess, abuse of power and degradation".
He later backpedaled before journalists, but said 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.
In a related case, Berlusconi is also appealing a
seven-year sentence and lifetime ban from office for paying
Karima 'Ruby' El Mahroug for sex and then abusing his office in
a lie to cover it up.
In the 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.
His centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party on Thursday
accused Milan judges of partisan bias in their tax-fraud ruling
against the media magnate.
Berlusconi's four-year term for inflating film-rights
purchases at his Mediaset media empire, cut to one for an
amnesty, as well as a five-year ban from public office was
upheld by an appeals court in May, and the supreme Cassation
Court will hear his appeal on July 30.
In a statement, the PdL said the series of trials was based
on "an accusation so absurd and laughable that, in the presence
of judges who are not totally compromised and non-partisan, (the
trials) would be over before they begin, with a great saving of
time for the judiciary and money for taxpayers".
The PdL has been particularly outraged over the Cassation's
decision to hear his case allegedly so soon at the end of this
month, supposedly depriving his legal team enough time to
prepare.
The Cassation said it was forced to move on the case or
risk it timing out under the statute of limitations, something
that has happened a number of times in the media mogul's
previous legal entanglements.
PdL lawmakers have vowed to resign en masse if their
leader's ban from office is upheld.
Their threats and Berlusconi's legal woes in general have
added tension to an already unstable coalition government,
cobbled together from the center left and center right after two
months of post-election parliamentary gridlock earlier this
year.

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