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    NewsEuropeSilvio Berlusconi acquitted in corruption trial

    Silvio Berlusconi acquitted in corruption trial

    Published on : 02/15/2023 – 14:06

    Accused of having corrupted witnesses to lie about his “bunga-bunga” parties, the former Italian head of government Silvio Berlusconi was acquitted on Wednesday by a court in Milan. The prosecution had demanded a six-year prison sentence against him.

    The former Italian head of government Silvio Berlusconi, accused of having corrupted witnesses to lie about his sulphurous “bunga-bunga” evenings, was acquitted on Wednesday February 15 by a court in Milan.

    “I can only be extremely satisfied”, reacted to journalists the Cavaliere’s lawyer, Federico Cecconi, while the prosecution had demanded a six-year prison sentence against the 86-year-old senator, accused of witness tampering and false testimony.

    Me Cecconi pointed out that this acquittal was the third in this case. “Three out of three is enough,” he said, expressing the wish that the prosecution would not appeal.

    In two separate parts of this trial, Silvio Berlusconi, absent from court on Wednesday, was acquitted in 2021 in Siena and in 2022 in Rome of the charge of witness tampering.

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    All acquitted

    The prosecution had also requested sentences of one to six years in prison for the 27 other defendants in this case, but all were acquitted.

    For the billionaire, who is slowly sliding towards leaving Italian political life but who again stood out on Sunday with a virulent comment against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, this is yet another case among the countless trials he has faced in recent decades and most often won.

    “Happy for Silvio’s acquittal after years of unnecessary suffering, insults and controversy,” reacted Matteo Salvini, one of the two deputy prime ministers and head of the Antimigrant League.

    This trial concerns one of the aspects of the “Rubygate” scandal and the famous “bunga-bunga” evenings that Silvio Berlusconi organized with young women, paid, in his luxurious villa near Milan.

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    Ex-model Marysthell Polanco, one of the guests at these parties, told the journalists present how her life had turned into a “nightmare” since the start of this trial. She herself faced up to five years in prison for corruption.

    “Sultan” and “concubines”

    The first Ruby trial, better known as “Rubygate”, named after the young Moroccan Karima el-Mahroug, known as Ruby, earned Silvio Berlusconi a first instance sentence in June 2013 to seven years in prison for underage prostitution and abuse of power.

    The former head of government was however definitively acquitted in March 2015 by the Court of Cassation in this part.

    The Ruby bis trial concerns two relatives of Silvio Berlusconi accused of having provided him with young prostitutes for his parties, sentenced on appeal to four years and seven months in prison for one and two years and ten months for the other.

    The Ruby ter trial relates generally to the alleged payments made by Silvio Berlusconi to various people, young women and musicians who participated in his parties, in exchange for their silence during the previous trials.

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    According to the prosecution, the silence of these young women cost Silvio Berlusconi millions of euros between 2011 and 2015, a large part of which was for Ruby alone, a minor when she took part in the famous evenings: cash, gifts, cars, provision of accommodation, payment of bills and medical expenses.

    Silvio Berlusconi’s defense claims the money was compensation for damage to the reputation of those involved in the case and insists he is being tried ‘for the crime of generosity’.

    In her indictment in May, prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano described Silvio Berlusconi as a “sultan” who used to “enliven his evenings with a group of concubines, in the sense of sex slaves, who entertained him for payment”.

    With AFP

    Source: France 24


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