Judges reject suspension of Berlusconi’s trial
A court in Milan rejected on 14 January, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s request to suspend his sex trial after national elections. "The request to suspend the trial cannot be accepted," the judges ruled after four hours of deliberation.
Judges in Italy rejected Silvio Berlusconi’s request to suspend a trial in which he is accused of paying for sex with a juvenile prostitute. The judges dismissed his lawyers’ argument that the trial may hamper his electoral chances. Berlusconi's lawyer Niccolo Ghedini argued that many of his political enemies might exploit former president’s trial for political gain. However, prosecutor Ilda Boccassini said that the prospect of elections should not affect judges. "I ask that this trial be allowed to go ahead because a trial cannot be suspended because of a campaign," said Boccassini.
The 76 year old media billionaire is accused of paying for sex with a nightclub dancer, 20 year-old Moroccan Karima El Mahroug, known also as "Ruby the Heartstealer". Berlusconi is alleged to have paid to sleep with Mahroug when she was 17. It is said that Mahroug was one of the main participants of former President’s “Bunga Bunga” parties in his private villa near Milan. Mahroug twice haven’t appeared at the court. Berlusconi denies the accusations. Mahroug said to the court that she hasn’t slept with the former Prime Minister.
Berlusconi’s trial is scheduled for February 4, meaning that a verdict could come before the election.