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Italian courtroom acquits ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi of bribing witness in underage prostitution case

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Italy’s former premier Silvio Berlusconi was acquitted by an Italian courtroom on Thursday after having been accused of bribing a witness in a earlier underage prostitution case.

The fees introduced in opposition to the ‘Cavaliere’ had been that he had paid Neapolitan singer and confidant Mariano Apicella €157,000 to lie in his defence.

However a courtroom in Rome let Berlusconi off after prosecutor Roberto Felici argued that there was no case to reply.

The judges additionally cleared Apicella of alleged perjury after the time restrict for reaching a verdict on such a criminal offense had lapsed.

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The media tycoon and present Senator had been previously accused of soliciting sexual providers from a 17-year-old unique dancer, Karima El Mahroug (often known as “Ruby the Heartstealer) in 2009, shortly after beginning his third time period as prime minister.

Berlusconi was finally cleared of all prices in 2014, because the appeals courtroom maintained he couldn’t have identified Mahroug — whom he claimed to have thought was the late Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s niece — was nonetheless a minor.

However, the then-PM’s alleged conduct whereas in workplace — with experiences of sordid ‘Bunga Bunga’ events, involving Apicella himself, extensively circulating — contributed considerably to his political demise within the early 2010s.

In response to Thursday’s verdict, Berlusconi acknowledged he was “pleased and glad” with the outcome, claiming he “appreciated that the general public prosecutor himself requested for an acquittal.”

“The weather put ahead by the defence,” he added, “have clarified past affordable doubt the absence of parts of opacity on this affair.”

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Whereas such a trial could have gone in Berlusconi’s favour, it’s removed from the top of his authorized vicissitudes. The previous PM — whose occasion, Forza Italia, has lately joined Italy’s new right-wing authorities — is accused of bribing 24 witnesses in a separate case which is anticipated to conclude in January subsequent yr.

If discovered responsible, Berlusconi might doubtlessly face jail, with prosecutors calling for a six-year sentence.

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