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  1. #1
    Lord of Swine
    Necron99's Avatar
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    Slippery Silvio Skates Free on Seven Year Sentence

    MILAN, Italy, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Over the last 20 years, Silvio Berlusconi has got Italians used to his political centrality, and so it was on Friday when a Milan court overturned a seven-year prison term against the three-time premier in the sex case that cast shadows on him before his government's collapse in 2011.

    "The accusation was unjust and slanderous," said a moved Berlusconi while leaving the facility for sick elderly people near Milan where he is doing one year of community service to serve a separate tax-fraud conviction.

    The news was a triumph for his lawyers, who said the appeal verdict was going beyond their rosiest predictions. The first-level ruling a year ago had sentenced Berlusconi to jail for alleged sex with an underage prostitute known as "Ruby" and extortion in using his power to cover the affair while he was prime minister in 2010.

    There is one more level of appeal before the sentence would become final. But how was Friday's overturning possible?

    According to experts, the accusation of "extortion" resulted to be juridically unfounded after a change in the related law was carried out between the first- and second-level verdicts. "Absolutely the extortion offense was not applicable to this case," a lawyer and criminal law professor at La Sapienza University in Rome, Alfonso Stile, told Xinhua shortly after the sentence came out.

    Stile, who is also Vice President of the International Association of Penal Law (AIDP), noted the police officer allegedly pressured by Berlusconi to release Ruby after she was detained on an unrelated theft did not obtain anything in return, differently from what envisaged by the extortion law.

    Moreover, the lawyer added, extortion is the crime of a public official using his position to obtain favors from a private citizen, which was not the Berlusconi case. "That being so, the first-level verdict was totally wrong. There can be some reasons why judges decided so, but actually I never heard a lawyer saying that sentence was right. Today's verdict is what we expected," he said.

    More explanations about the ruling will be known within 90 days, the time limit for appeal judges to record the justification for the sentence. But what was immediately clear to political analysts on Friday was that the acquittal may enable Berlusconi to remain a strong influence in politics.

    "Not only it has been proved that Berlusconi was innocent, but also that he was the victim of an unfair verdict" and consequently of a "coup d'etat" in 2011 that led to three unelected governments including the current one, Renato Brunetta, FI leader in the lower house and public administration and innovation minister in Berlusconi's last government, told Xinhua.

    "In 2008 Berlusconi's party won 37 percent of the popular vote (Renzi's PD got nearly 41 percent of the votes in May's European elections)," Brunetta said. "What I aim for is early elections, the earliest as possible, and we want to win," he highlighted.

    News Analysis: Overturning of guilty verdict gives back political stage to Italy's Berlusconi - Xinhua | English.news.cn




    Rich mans justice, get the law changed so by the time the appeal is up you are no longer guilty.....

  2. #2
    R.I.P
    Mr Lick's Avatar
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    Must have cost him a few euro to wriggle out of that one. Possibly down to his last 100 Bonga Bonga party's now

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