Italy wants compensation from Berlusconi

Vanadia represents the Presidium of the Council of Ministers in Rome as a joint plaintiff and has asked the court in Milan to sentence the 85-year-old and 27 other defendants to damages of 10.5 million euros.

The long-time politician and businessman is accused of corruption and bribery of witnesses. In previous trials surrounding the parties, he had been acquitted of abuse of office and promoting underage prostitution for lack of evidence. In their plea on Wednesday, the public prosecutor’s office in Milan called for a six-year prison sentence for the former prime minister.

Approaching Draghi probably history

Berlusconi protests his innocence, his lawyer is convinced of an acquittal. A verdict is expected in the fall. Representatives of his party Forza Italia and the leaders of the right-wing parties Lega and Fratelli d’Italia expressed their solidarity with Berlusconi.

According to observers, the motion by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers is likely to hit Berlusconi the hardest. On the one hand, this was his office in each of his four terms of office between 1994 and 2011. In addition, the Forza Italia boss recently tried to position himself as a brave and reliable supporter of Prime Minister Mario Draghi. Lawyer Vanadia made it clear, however, that Berlusconi’s escapades, whether prosecuted or not, have brought Italy into disrepute.

Third trial after the 2010 scandal

The cause is about celebrations with young women that have become known as “Bunga Bunga” parties, which date back more than ten years. The trial in Milan is the third in the 2010 scandal. Berlusconi had already been charged with abuse of office and promoting prostitution by minors and was ultimately acquitted for lack of evidence. The current trial is about whether Berlusconi urged the young women to make false statements in court. The media entrepreneur denies the allegations.

“History has already judged”

Prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano recently accused the party leader of Forza Italia of having kept harem ladies and “paid sex slaves” at his celebrations. “Berlusconi was a man with the world at his feet, who engaged in friendships like those with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is now bringing the world to its knees,” said the prosecutor. Today, the 85-year-old Berlusconi is an “old and sick man” chasing lost youth and afraid of death. A verdict on Berlusconi went down in history regardless of the outcome of the trial.

Also namesake Ruby accused

In addition to the politician, 27 other people were charged, including one of the young women at the celebrations. She called herself “Ruby Rubacuori” (“Ruby heartthrob”) and gave the name to the Ruby affairs of Berlusconi. According to ANSA, her former partner testified on Wednesday that he never received any money from Berlusconi or his former girlfriend. At the time, Ruby was able to capitalize on her sudden celebrity, so she was a guest of Richard Lugner at the Vienna Opera Ball in 2011.

Karima El-Mahroug (Ruby) at a court hearing in Milan in May 2013.

APA/AFP/Olivier Morin

Ruby in an archive image at a trial in 2013

The public prosecutor’s office is demanding several years’ imprisonment for Ruby and the other defendants – such as parliamentarian Maria Rosaria Rossi. According to the ANSA news agency, Berlusconi’s lawyer Federico Cecconi was convinced of an acquittal. “There was no crime,” he said. At the end of 2021, a court in Siena had already acquitted Berlusconi of bribing witnesses in the Ruby case.

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