Monday, 13 May 2013

Berlusconi and the twenty years' war against the judges

Sun, 12 May, 2013. Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset broadcaster Canale 5 airs a two-hour documentary to demonstrate prosecutors sex-related charges against the former prime minister are groundless (at least to the public opinion), as a last act of a counteroffensive against the Italian judiciary.

Ruby Heartstealer in a nightclub
All but chaste
“The twenty years' war” is the title of a two-hour documentary, that was aired on Sunday, the day before the prosecutor's closing arguments would be declared at the Rubygate sex scandal trial (the request would be a 6-year sentence), where Silvio Berlusconi is accused of abuse of power and having paid the then-minor Karima El-Mahroug (aka Ruby Heartstealer, Ruby Rubacuori in Italian) for sex

Silvio Berlusconi's stand is that the dinners where young girls and women were invited (some of them were just kept at hand in the bunga-bunga army) were pretty “normal soirĂ©es” and that his guests “kept their cloths on”. Nicole Minetti was not an organiser (was she his grilfriend at that time, as she declared?). Prosecution thinks he has been running a prostitution ring. So far they have been finding it difficult to reconcile the two different positions.

The broadcast came in the wake a protest against Italian judiciary, a demonstration that took place in Brescia the day before. Among the others, also Angelino Alfano – Italian Minister of the Interior as well as vice prime minister – decided to take part in the demonstration, which may sound odd to foreign observers (I mean, normally you protest when you are not in the cabinet, against the cabinet, isn't it?).

Apart from this, Karima El-Mahroug keeps saying she is not (and she was not) a prostitute. Even if Caterina Pasquina - a friend of hers - and Francesco Chiesa Soprani - a showbiz agent - stated that she confided them about having had sex with the former prime minister of Italy. In the beginning of April she staged asmall-scale-protest to state her case.

Actually Karima used to appear in public shows where she was miming sexual acts. That might me the reason why some judges have formed such an opinion about the young woman. If you wish to see a couple of those pictures, bearing in mind that - although no nudity is involved - the photos could result a bit disturbing for some tastes, click here and here).

She might not be a whore, but - apart from acting in public like she is one - perhaps she is a girl bearing an “oriental astuteness” (as prosecutor Ilda Boccassini put it), since she managed to diddle Silvio Berlusconi out of 57,000 euros (today a sum worth about £48,400 or $74,000), saying that she would use it to set up a beauty business, but then spent in order to “lead a decent life” (in 2011 the average salary in Italy was €19,655, ie £16,690 or $25,518).

“I'll tell ya the truth about them dinners, mate” 
Anyhow, Silvio doesn't seem to bear any grudge towards the young nightclub dancer, for swindling the bread, so the whole money deal becomes pointless.

To shoot the documentary, Silvio Berlusconi (in the interview he is informally wearing a black jumper) granted open-doors to the “bunga-bunga” parties' stage, Villa San Martino in Arcore.

The mockumentary, pardon, the documentary, was watched by 1,425,000 TV viewers, representing a share of 5.88% (slightly better was the result of Clive Owen's and Keira Knightley “King Arthur”, with 1,686,000 viewers and a share of 6.75%, one week before, and that wasn't a cracker either).

Apparently Mr Berlusconi's measures are working, and the right-centre sounds appealing to 35.6% of the Italians, according to Italian statistics' prima donna Renato Mannheimer, as the competitors are all plummeting, starting from the Five Star Movement led by comedian Beppe Grillo. Grillo declared that most of Italian media are untrustworthy.