Where all those other failed prosecutions for boring stuff such as tax fraud, Mafia collusion, bribing judges and witnesses, and even membership of a Masonic society intent on overthrowing democracy, failed to get rid of him this one did the trick. It branded the Italian prime minister not just a whoremonger but a pedophile whoremonger. The eurozone meltdown did the rest.
What else did the world hear about in the recent past about Italy and Berlusconi prior to his resignation last November in a palace coup that brought the unelected Goldman Sachs adviser Mario Monti to power? So much for him being the media tycoon who controls the Italian media with a totalitarian dictator’s iron fist (as that same “muzzled” Italian media never tire of telling us).
Berlusconi, a prostate cancer survivor who is now 75, denies sex with the girl, Karima El Mahroug, daughter of Moroccan immigrants and a belly dancer, nom de guerre Rubi Rubacuori (Ruby the Heartbreaker), who is now 18 but was 17 at the time. And she denies sex with him. Did anyone see them at it? No. Snogging even? No. So no sex, no crime. So why the trial? That is una bella domanda!
The Cavaliere does admit giving the belly dancer 5,000 euros ($6,579), but so what? He gives buckets of money to countless girls who attend his “bunga bunga” parties, named after his basement at his villa which is kitted out like a nightclub and where he and his guests repair after dinner. He is one of the world’s richest men, has a great sense of humor, and loves a good party. Che uomo!
So what evidence do the prosecuting judges have against Berlusconi? In a word: none. They have brought him to trial in the time-honored Italian way on the basis that he must have committed the crime because otherwise he would not have given the girl the money.
To “prove” their hypothesis they tapped the telephone calls and studied the bank accounts of dozens of his other female guests and naturalmente leaked all the transcripts to the press. Many of these women are models or television showgirls and those among them who likewise received cash gifts from him are being called as prosecution witnesses. They all too—ovviamente!—deny sex with him, let alone sex for money. No problem. The prosecuting judges have decreed that they were paid prostitutes and therefore paid victims.
Prosecution witnesses included Imane Fadil, a Moroccan model, who said she was at the villa one night when Berlusconi watched a pole-dancing striptease by two women dressed as nuns mimicking the film Sister Act.
She testified that later, Berlusconi took her to his office where he gave her an envelope with 2,000 euros of cash inside. She was present at several subsequent parties and says that while she did not have sex with him, other girls told her they had. This claim is hearsay evidence and would be inadmissible in a British or American court.
Silvio il Magnifico, whose idol is Margaret Thatcher, was Italy’s best hope of cutting the country’s crippling taxes and monstrous public debt and liberalizing its stagnant labor market.
Yes, the Italians are sex maniacs. But what is a man of his age who has had prostate cancer surgery…however magnifico he is, however much Viagra he has swallowed, however many magic liquids he injects into his sexual organ…just what harm is such a man, even if he’s Italian, capable of doing to a woman in the sack?
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