Italy: “Bunga-Bunga” trial: prosecution calls for arrest for Berlusconi

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    It is not the first trial that Italy’s ex-prime minister has faced for partying with minors. This time it’s about witness bribery. Should Silvio Berlusconi be behind bars?

    In the corruption trial surrounding Silvio Berlusconi’s so-called “Bunga-Bunga parties”, the prosecution in Italy has demanded a six-year prison sentence for the former prime minister.

    In their plea, the public prosecutors in Milan on Wednesday also demanded that assets of 10.8 million euros be confiscated from the politician and businessman. The 85-year-old is accused in the proceedings, among other things, of bribing witnesses.

    The case is about celebrations with young women that have become known as “bunga bunga parties” more than ten years ago. The trial in Milan is the third in the wake of the 2010 scandal. Berlusconi had already been charged with abuse of office and promoting prostitution by minors and was ultimately acquitted for lack of evidence. The current trial is about whether Berlusconi urged the young women to make false statements in court. The media entrepreneur denies the allegations.

    Prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano recently accused the party leader of Forza Italia of having kept harem ladies and “paid sex slaves” at his celebrations. A verdict on Berlusconi, now an “old and sick man,” went down in history regardless of the outcome of the case.

    In addition to the politician, 27 other people were charged, including one of the girls at the celebrations. She called herself Ruby Rubacuori and gave the name to the “Ruby” affairs of Berlusconi. The public prosecutor is demanding several years in prison for her and the other defendants – such as parliamentarian Maria Rosaria Rossi.

    According to the Ansa news agency, Berlusconi’s lawyer Federico Cecconi was convinced of an acquittal. “There was no crime,” he said. At the end of 2021, a court in Siena had already acquitted Berlusconi of bribing witnesses in the Ruby case. On Wednesday, leaders of the centre-right party bloc expressed their support for Berlusconi.