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Berlusconi supporters question judge

02-16-2011 08:18 BJT

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An Italian judge has ordered Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to stand trial on multiple charges, including paying an underage girl to sex. But the leader's lawyer, and the spokesman for his political party, are questioning the magistrate's credibility after Tuesday's ruling.

Weeks of scandal have seriously shaken Silvio Berlusconi's administration.

Tuesday's trial announcement serves as another powerful blow.

The proceeding will commence at a criminal court in Milan in early April. The Italian Prime Minister is not obligated to appear in person before the panel of three judges on that day. Nor are there any legal obstacles to him continuing to hold office as the case is argued, since it could take several years before a verdict is reached.

But the Prime Minister's lawyer questioning the head magistrate's credibility, and calling the lawsuit a publicity stunt.

Francesco Paolo Sisto, Defense Lawyer, said, "I think that Berlusconi's legal responsibilities are without substance. Be it abuse of power or the other charges, this is a media show. Judicially, in my opinion, there are no grounds for all the charges."

Daniele Capezzone, Spokesman, Italian People of Freedom Party, said, "The Prime Minister will go in front of the judge, but not judges who aren't in a position to listen to him. Not those judges who don't have territorial jurisdiction."

Italian media stories have been dominated for weeks by the alleged prostitution tryst, which centers on a teenaged Moroccan-born nightclub dancer who uses the stage name Ruby.

Prosecutors say they have ample evidence the Prime Minister paid her for intimate services when she was just 17-years-old.

The aspiring entertainer denies having sexual relations with Berlusconi, but admits receiving at least 7,000 euros, after attending a party at his luxurious private residence.

The Italian leader vehemently refutes any related accusations, saying the charges are politically motivated.




Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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