A shoulder to lean on?

2011-05-27 13:14

Rome – Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi complained to US President Barack Obama about his legal woes during an informal chat at the G8 summit in Deauville, Italian newspapers reported today.

Berlusconi, who has a long history of legal troubles and is currently on trial for having sex with an underage prostitute, told a visibly uncomfortable Obama yesterday there was “a dictatorship of left-wing judges” in Italy.

Italian commentators ridiculed Berlusconi’s antics on the international stage after he walked over to Obama at the start of a roundtable discussion on global issues, put his arm over the US president’s chair and began chatting.

“I have had 31 trials against me and I’ve always been acquitted,” Berlusconi told Obama, according to a lip-reading analysis of video footage.

Berlusconi has had some initial convictions but many cases against him have expired under a statute of limitations or he has been acquitted on appeal.

The 74-year-old premier is currently a defendant in three trials in Milan.

Pier Luigi Bersani, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, joked: “I don’t know if Berlusconi is going to ask Obama for Nato intervention.”

Left-wing daily La Repubblica commented: “Here is a prime minister who uses the international scene to harm his country by discrediting it.”

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