Berlusconi misses court date for Libya meeting | Pakistan Today

Berlusconi misses court date for Libya meeting

MILAN – The legal marathon facing Silvio Berlusconi resumed on Monday when a bribery trial reopened in Milan but the Italian prime minister, due to brief the cabinet on the Libya emergency, did not appear in court. Italy’s involvement in the air campaign against his former friend Muammar Gaddafi has diverted some attention from Berlusconi’s legal woes but the premier is confronting court battles that have overshadowed Rome political life for months.
The “Rubygate” affair, in which Berlusconi stands accused of paying a minor for sex, has grabbed headlines globally. But also in store for Berlusconi are a series of trials over accusations of fraud and corruption related to his vast business empire.
The trials were effectively put on hold for more than a year because of a law which allowed him to claim that his official duties did not leave him enough time to prepare his defence. His immunity was lifted by a constitutional court ruling in January. But the trials this month and next are likely to be only the first steps in a protracted legal battle with an uncertain outcome, which may not emerge for years.
Berlusconi, 74, has faced at least a dozen trials over the years, all of which have either cleared him or expired under the statute of limitations. The most high profile case, in which the premier is accused of paying for sex with a teenage nightclub dancer named Karima el Mahroug, better known under her stage name Ruby, is due to start on April 6.

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