It is a legal victory for Silvio Berlusconi. He was released on Wednesday by a Milan court in yet another trial involving this former head of the Italian government, accused of having bribed witnesses to lie about his sulphurous “bunga-bunga” evenings.
“Finally acquitted after more than 11 years of suffering, infamy and incalculable political damage because I was lucky enough to be tried by magistrates who knew how to remain independent, impartial and correct in the face of the unfounded accusations that were brought against me. addressed”, reacted on Twitter Silvio Berlusconi. “Excellent news which puts an end to a long legal case which has also had significant repercussions on Italian political and institutional life”, for her part rejoiced the head of government Giorgia Meloni.
A third acquittal
“I can only be extremely satisfied,” said his lawyer, Federico Cecconi, earlier in the day, the judges having been unable to retain the facts of corruption, while the prosecution had demanded a six-year prison sentence. against the 86-year-old senator, accused of tampering with witnesses and perjury. Expressing the wish that the prosecution does not present an appeal, Me Cecconi underlined that this acquittal was the third in this case.
In two separate parts of this trial, Silvio Berlusconi, absent from court on Wednesday, had indeed been acquitted in 2021 in Siena and in 2022 in Rome of the charge of tampering with witnesses. The prosecution had also requested sentences of one to six years in prison for the 27 other defendants in this case, but all were acquitted.
For the billionaire, who is slowly sliding towards leaving political life, this is one of the countless lawsuits he has faced in recent decades and which he has most often won.
A very long legal history
This acquittal is the culmination of a long legal history that began in 2010 when the then head of government was accused of abuse of power by protecting a young Moroccan nightclub dancer, Karima El-Mahroug. The young woman, known by her stage name of Ruby, had been arrested for larceny but Berlusconi had intervened to have her released, saying that she was the niece of Hosni Mubarak, who was at the time the president of Egypt.
The following year, Silvio Berlusconi was accused of paying Ruby, who in 2010 was 17, for sex. Sentenced at first instance in 2013 to seven years in prison, he was definitively acquitted in March 2015 by the Court of Cassation in this part. The magistrates, convinced that the billionaire has paid many people for their silence, then open a new investigation which will lead, in 2017, to the start of the trial for which he was finally acquitted on Wednesday.