Tuesday, June 25, 2013

No, No, No! Not Silvio!

Berlusconi convicted in sex-for-hire trial

My hero, Silvio Berlusconi, has lost his trial on charges of soliciting under age prostitutes.  He forgot the rule, 17 will get you 20!  When renting women, it's important to get the proper age.

A Milan court on Monday convicted former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi of paying for sex with an underage prostitute during infamous "bunga bunga" parties at his villa and then using his influence to try to cover it up.

Berlusconi, 76, was sentenced to seven years in prison and barred from public office for life — a sentence that could mean the end of his two-decade political career. However, there are two more levels of appeal before the sentence would become final, a process that can take months.
At 76 he should be resting on his laurels, and getting his staff to vet his performers better, not going to jail.
Berlusconi holds no official post in the current Italian government, but remains influential in the uneasy cross-party coalition that emerged after inconclusive February elections.

Both he and the Moroccan woman at the center of the scandal have denied ever having sex.
Uh huh, and I have a bridge to sell...
His lawyer, Niccolo Ghedini, immediately announced an appeal and said the sentence was as expected as it was unjust...
Really, it's not fair; starting at about 14, girls dress and get made up like they're 21.  Once they get over about 21, they try to maintain that appearance.  Maybe, to be fair to men, we should insist that their birthdays be tattooed on their...
The charges against the billionaire media mogul stem from the "bunga bunga" parties in 2010 at his mansion near Milan, where he wined and dined beautiful young women while he was premier. He says the dinner parties were elegant soirees; prosecutors say they were sex-fueled parties that women were paid to attend.
Potato, po-tah-toh...
Neither Berlusconi nor the woman at the center of the case, Karima el-Mahroug, better known by her nickname Ruby, have testified in this trial. El-Mahroug was called by the defense but failed to show on a couple of occasions, delaying the trial. Berlusconi's team eventually dropped her from the witness list.

El-Mahroug did testify in the separate trial of three Berlusconi aides charged with procuring prostitutes for the parties. She told that court that Berlusconi's disco featured aspiring showgirls dressed as sexy nuns and nurses performing striptease acts, and that one woman even dressed up as President Barack Obama.
I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.  That was not at all the image I had of Silvio.  He definitely needs to get a better class of aide. 
Berlusconi was not in court on Monday. The three female judges deliberated for more than seven hours before delivering their verdict. Their written explanations for arriving at the verdict will be submitted in the next few weeks.
Three female judges?  That just ain't fair. How could a man possibly get a fair trial with three women judges?
Berlusconi frequently has railed against Milan prosecutors and judges, accusing them of mounting politically motivated cases against him.
I expect they did; politics ain't bean bag.  It's not like you didn't buy them the ammunition, and paint a target on yourself.
El-Mahroug, now 20, said in the other trial that she attended about a half-dozen parties at Berlusconi's villa, and that after each, Berlusconi handed her an envelope with up to 3,000 euros ($3,900). She said she later received 30,000 euros cash from the then-premier paid through an intermediary — money that she told Berlusconi she wanted to use to open a beauty salon, despite having no formal training.
Not bad pay for a night's work.  Beats catching crab in the Bering Sea.  And I'm sure she has spent days on her own beauty routine; it shouldn't be that hard to branch out to others.  When I was 17, I worked at a wholesale tropical fish dealer.  I got paid 5 bucks an hour to count, and bag fish to send to Japan, and I was pretty happy to get it.
She was 17 at the time of the alleged encounters but passed herself off as being 24. She also claimed she was related to then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Berlusconi's lawyers argued that he — thinking el-Mahroug was indeed Mubarak's niece — called police after she was detained in a bid to avoid a diplomatic incident.
Actually, a pretty decent article on Karima here.  You can imagine how she actually got caught up in all this, although the pictures tend to make the matter clear, too.  She was clearly having a good time giving Berlusconi and others a good time.
El-Mahroug denied that Berlusconi had ever given her 5 million euros ($6.43 million). She said she told acquaintances and even her father that she was going to receive such a large sum "as a boast," but that it was a lie to make her seem more important.
So she's not an expensive call girl, just a middle priced one?
The verdict garnered intense international media attention with half a dozen TV satellite trucks taking positions outside the courthouse. The verdict comes on the heels of Berlusconi's tax-fraud conviction, which along with a four-year prison sentence and five-year ban on public office, have been upheld on a first appeal.

The tax-fraud case is heading to Italy's highest court for a final appeal after Berlusconi's defense failed to derail it last week at the constitutional court.
Good; at least one more post to go  I'd hate to lose Silvio; he's been a mainstay!
Berlusconi, who has been tried numerous times relating to his business dealings, has been convicted in other cases at the trial level. But those convictions have always either been overturned on appeal or the statute of limitations has run out before Italy's high court could have its say.

The sex-for-hire case is the first involving his personal conduct.
Given the slow pace of Eye-talian justice, I may need to hold back some pictures for the appeals process...  Previous posts on the continuing Berlusconi comic opera:

Eye-Talians Hava da Besta Scandals
Bonus Berlusconi!
Bunga Bunga, Berlusconi!
Buono Berlusconi!
Berlusconi Forever!
Our Man Berlusconi...
Berlusconi Defense: I Did It For My Country!
Say It Ain't So, Silvo!
Silvio! Silvio!
Tiring of Italy, Burlesconi Set His Sights on Argentina
But, But, But, Berlusconi!
Go, Go Silvio!
Way to Go, Silvio!
Oh No, Silvio!

Wombat-socho at the Other McCain lists this in his all encompassing list of Rule 5 posts for the week, "Rule 5 Sunday: Taylor Swift, We Hardly Knew Ye."

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