Berlusconi sex trial verdict to follow elections

The verdict in former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's trial for underage sex will not come before the February general elections, a court in northern Italy said Monday.

The decision marks a partial victory for the media magnate, who will be a candidate in the polls, after his defence team asked for a total suspension until after the February 24-25 polls.

Hearings will continue, including testimony on January 28 from the mother of the Moroccan-born exotic dancer at the centre of the case.

Judges said a diary clash caused the cancellation of hearings initially set for February 18 and 25, and the last hearing was likely to take place on March 11.

The court turned down the request by the media magnate's lawyers for a total suspension of the trial until after the elections last week.

While the billionaire has launched his sixth election bid in two decades, he is still mulling whether to run for the post of prime minister or settle for another post within his centre-right People of Freedom (PDL) party.

Berlusconi's supporters said the ruling amounted to judicial interference in the campaign, while his critics said the 76-year-old billionaire was only running for office to stay out of jail.

Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with Karima El-Mahroug in 2010 at his mansion near Milan when she was just 17 and he was the prime minister.

She will not be testifying, though her written testimony, where she described wild "Bunga Bunga" parties hosted by Berlusconi, will still be considered in the case.

Berlusconi faces up to three years in prison on the sex charge as the age of consent in Italy is only 14, but sex with an under-18 prostitute is a crime.

He is also accused of abusing his official powers by pressuring police to release El-Mahroug when she was arrested for petty theft -- a charge that carries a maximum prison sentence of 12 years.

His defence says Berlusconi thought El-Mahroug was a niece of then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and wanted to avoid a diplomatic incident.

The flamboyant tycoon is unlikely to ever see the inside of a prison cell even if convicted since sentencing guidelines in Italy are very lenient for over-70-year-olds.

Berlusconi denies having sex with El-Mahroug, saying he only gave her money so she could set up a beauty parlour and avoid prostituting herself.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Ex-Cavite governor gets PCSO top post
    Ex-Cavite governor gets PCSO top post

    After nearly a year, President Aquino finally made good his promise to a long-time ally – former Cavite governor and congressman Erineo Maliksi – to head the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), replacing Margarita Juico who resigned in May 2014. Maliksi must be officially elected by the PCSO board members as their chairman. Prior to his appointment to the PCSO, Maliksi faced graft charges before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the alleged illegal purchase of P2.5 million worth …

  • US, Phl military exercises to focus on sea defense
    US, Phl military exercises to focus on sea defense

    A massive deployment of aircraft, personnel and warships characterizes this year’s Balikatan between the two allies, which war games were launched 30 years ago. Commander Lued Lincuna, Philippine Navy public affairs chief, said the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4) will link  up with the US 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force. …

  • P-Noy seeking united Asean stand on China
    P-Noy seeking united Asean stand on China

    With China’s actions threatening to “considerably alter the way of doing business globally,” President Aquino will ask the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to take a united stand against Beijing’s massive reclamation activities and other provocative acts in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. Aquino will raise the appeal to his ASEAN counterparts when they meet on April 27-28 in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi in Malaysia. Beijing reacted immediately to the plan, saying the …

  • OIC exec backs BBL, says passage to end extremism
    OIC exec backs BBL, says passage to end extremism

    The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) yesterday backed the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), warning that failure to see the peace process through with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) could open the door to extremism. OIC secretary-general Iyad Bin Amin Madani, who is in the country to rally support for the peace process and the BBL, told reporters at the Senate yesterday that the Philippines should not waste the opportunity to attain lasting peace in Mindanao, especially …

  • Senate plan to probe corruption in judiciary opposed
    Senate plan to probe corruption in judiciary opposed

    The head of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) is opposing the plan of the Senate to investigate alleged “justice for sale” in the judiciary. In an interview yesterday, IBP national president Vicente Joyas contested the pronouncement of Senate President Franklin Drilon that the Senate Blue Ribbon committee can probe the reported corruption in the judiciary, as it remains part of the scope of the Senate’s investigative power. “The plan of the Senate to push through with the …

  • PNP: Floyd camp charging P.2 M for pay-per-view
    PNP: Floyd camp charging P.2 M for pay-per-view

    The camp of Floyd Mayweather is reportedly charging the Philippine National Police P200,000 for a pay-per-view deal of his fight with Manny Pacquiao, a PNP official said yesterday. Director Danilo Constantino, the PNP’s Chief Directorial Staff, said the cost of the pay-per-view for the fight makes it difficult for the PNP to sponsor the free viewing for its personnel and their dependents at Camp Crame’s multi-purpose center. “We are currently negotiating for the pay-per-view and we ever …

  • No disruption in gun permit issuance – PNP
    No disruption in gun permit issuance – PNP

    There has been no disruption in the issuance of permits to carry firearms outside residence (PTCFOR) since former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima was suspended in December 2014, an official said yesterday. PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina is the one signing the PTCFOR cards, PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said. Cerbo, however, could not say when Espina started signing the cards and how many PTCFORs have …

  • HK pol calls Pinay maids ‘home wreckers’
    HK pol calls Pinay maids ‘home wreckers’

    A senior Hong Kong politician is under fire after she accused some Filipina domestic helpers of seducing their male employers, in comments branded “racist” and “offensive” by critics. There are 300,000 maids in Hong Kong, mostly from the Philippines and Indonesia, with concern growing among rights groups over their welfare following a string of abuse cases. But lawmaker Regina Ip, a close adviser to the city’s leader Leung Chun-ying and tipped as a future chief executive, cast the maids as …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options