Silvio Berlusconi Italy’s controversial media tycoon and politician was sentenced to seven years in prison and banned from public office for sex with an underage prostitute. Berlusconi was found guilty of having sex with a minor and using his political power to cover up the affair. Defence attorney Niccolo Ghedini, has said the verdict was expected, it was completely “out of reality” with the evidence presented. Silvio Berlusconi will appeal the seven year sentence in the ‘Bunga Bunga’ sex scandal.
The panel of three women judges found Silvio Berlusconi guilty of the charges and questioned the integrity of the female witnesses who testified in his defence. They further believed that Berlusconi used his political influence to cover up the affair, and release Karima El Mahroug from jail when she was charged with theft.
Moroccan beauty Karima El Mahroug, stage name Ruby the Heart Stealer is at the heart of the ‘bunga bunga’ sex scandal. Karima, a belly dancer and showgirl, was 17 years old at the time of the alleged incidents, but has fervently denied ever having sex with Berlusconi, or being a prostitute. The young lady is now 18, and says she wishes to move to Mexico with her boyfriend, get married, settle down and have a nice “normal life” away from all the media attention.
Karima was not alone in the allegations of sex for money and jewels. Photos from the parties show the type of entertainment supplied by Silvio Berlusconi, in what he termed ‘Bunga Bunga’. Elaborate dinner parties would have three stages: dinner, bunga bunga which meant exotic dancers, strip teases and such, and then Silvio would have his choice of women from which he would spend the night.
Berlusconi is no stranger to political scandal, as he has been tried numerous times before in lower court and convicted of business related crimes, all of which were overturned. In October of 2012 however, he was found guilty of tax evasion, in relation to one of his television companies. He was sentenced to four years in prison and suspended from public office. Berlusconi lost his first appeal in May, and if he loses the second appeal, he will be forced from office as early as autumn.
Legal critics suggest that Silvio Berlusconi will ever see the inside of a prison. “I would be very surprised because, in general, people who are beyond a certain age, for health reasons … in general the first thing that they are going to ask is whether they can, let’s say, ‘enjoy’ the penalty at home, but not go physically into prison,” says Chiara Magrini, professor of law at John Cabot university. The flamboyant mogul, and former Italian Prime Minister, is 76 years old and worth an estimated 9 billion dollars, of which he earned through media acquisitions and real estate ventures. Silvio Berlusconi will appeal the seven year sentence in Bunga Bunga sex scandal, and if he’s past record is any indication of his future; it is unlikely the man will serve a day in prison.
by Tonnya Roberts Marisse
BBC News World – Berlusconi Verdict Sends ShockWaves
BBC NewsWorld – Silvio Berlusconi verdict sends shockwaves
The Telegraph – Silvio Berlusconi tax fraud appeal rejected
The Telegraph – Silvio Berlusconi and the ‘bunga bunga’ parties in pictures
The Telegraph –