Silvio Berlusconi likely to face criminal trial in Italy
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was recently found to have no legal exemption from criminal prosecution by an Italian court. Prosecutors want to try Berlusconi on charges of having had engaged the services of a teenage prostitute. He might go on trial in a few months.
Italian prosecutors want speedy trial for controversial leader
Prosecutors in Milan are attempting to arrange a speedy trial for embattled Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for charges of engaging the services of an underage prostitute, according to The Guardian. Prosecutors for the city of Milan have asked that Berlusconi be taken into custody immediately because of overwhelming evidence. The request is being reviewed by a judge. Berlusconi’s attorneys warned of constitutional barriers to the Prime Minister being thrown in jail. Berlusconi blasted the case in a press conference in Rome, saying that it was disgusting and a disgrace. He also said that he was going to sue the state and that “the taxpayer” would ultimately pay for the whole debacle.
Alleged misconduct with underage mistress
Silvio Berlusconi is being indicted for allegedly engaging in prostitution with a girl named Ruby the Heartstealer, a Moroccan national who works primarily as a nightclub dancer, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Prostitution is legal in Italy if the prostitute is at least 18 years old, but Ruby was 17 at the time the alleged encounter. Berlusconi tried to personally intervene to have police drop theft charges against Ruby, whose real name is Karima el-Mahroug. Berlusconi admitted trying to exert political influence, and he claimed that she told him she was the granddaughter of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. A law enforcement official involved in the case quipped that “if she’s Mubarak’s granddaughter, then I’m Queen Nefertiti of the Nile.”
Berlusconi tries to legally block all prosecution
Berlusconi has previously survived two votes of no confidence in the Italian parliament, narrowly surviving each. His party recently passed a law that bars any criminal prosecution of the Prime Minister, but that was overturned in court for being unconstitutional. His popularity is shaky at best, and he could serve up to three years in prison if convicted. Berlusconi has been involved in 2,568 court hearings, according to The Telegraph.