Berlusconi sex trial to go ahead

2013-01-14 19:18
Silvio Berlusconi (Picture: Supplied)

Silvio Berlusconi (Picture: Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Milan - A Milan court on Monday rejected a bid by former premier Silvio Berlusconi to halt his sex-for-hire trial because of Italy's general election campaign, a ruling that means a verdict could come before the February vote.

The judges deliberated for four hours before deciding that the trial would go ahead.

The defence also decided they didn't need to hear testimony from the Moroccan woman at the center of the case, Karima el-Mahroug, the last witness.

El-Mahroug had appeared in court on Monday ready to testify after having failed to show on two previous dates, purportedly because she was in Mexico on vacation.

Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with el-Mahroug, better known as Ruby, when she was 17 and during his notorious "bunga bunga" parties - supposedly racy soirees featuring many young women - and then using his office to cover it up.

Both deny sexual contact.

El-Mahroug had been the last witness due to testify, meaning a verdict could come before the 24-25 February elections in which Berlusconi is heading a center-right coalition.

Berlusconi's defence lawyer, Niccolo Ghedini, had filed a motion to suspend the proceeding, citing the demands of the election campaign.

The prosecution opposed the request, arguing that Berlusconi is not the formal head of his party nor its official candidate for premier, and that he has infrequently shown up for trail anyway, as is his right.

In their ruling, the judges said Berlusconi's absences for a political campaign were a personal choice and couldn't be compared with having a parliamentary obligation - which has been accepted as a legitimate impediment that can allow a trial to be delayed.

Prosecutors had said they didn't need el-Mahroug's court testimony, explaining they had what they needed from other evidence already submitted.

Berlusconi's defence, which had originally called her as a witness, said on Monday they didn't need to hear her testify.

They offered no explanation for the change in strategy.

El-Mahroug's lawyer, Paola Boccardi, said her client wasn't angry that she didn't have to testify, just "surprised that she wasn't heard”.

El-Mahroug looked relaxed, chatting with her lawyer.

She wore a dark parka with fur trim, Ugg boots and carried a fashionable Louis Vuitton handbag.

In saying that she needn't testify, the judges thanked el-Mahroug for appearing.

- AP

Read more on:    silvio berlusconi  |  italy
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 11:43 AM
    Road name: N1 Outbound
    ACCIDENT obstructing two lanes before the M5 Koeberg Interchange - expect delays
  • Wednesday Montague Gardens - 10:52 AM
    Road name: Montague Drive Southbound
    DELAYS towards Bosmansdam Road due to roadworks
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 8520

Wi-Fi enabled With the BlackBerry Curve 8520 connect to your home...

From R1100.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The ingredients for today are communicating your original ideas in a creative and unique way that can make the right people look...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.