Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was haunted by legal troubles and scandals throughout his life, making him as much a part of his legend as his work in the fields of politics, media and sports.
– convicted, once –
Berlusconi, who served as prime minister three times between 1994 and 2011, faced dozens of lawsuits dating back to the 1980s, mostly alleging bribery and fraud related to his various business interests. was.
Nearly all cases were acquitted on appeal to the Supreme Court or terminated by statute of limitations.
Berlusconi has often targeted the judiciary, portraying himself as an innocent victim of politically motivated left-wing judges.
But in 2013, he was expelled from parliament after his conviction for corporate tax fraud was upheld by the country’s Supreme Court.
He escaped his prison sentence and was instead ordered to do a year of community service at a facility for Alzheimer’s patients.
In 2015, a lower court ordered Berlusconi to give senators €3 million (then $3.4 million) to withdraw from the fragile center-left coalition that ruled Italy from 2006 to 2008 and helped overthrow the government. ) for paying bribes.
This conviction was subject to appeal even after the statute of limitations expired.
~Sexual acts of minors~
In June 2013, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for paying for sex with 17-year-old Kalima El Mahroug, known as “Ruby the Heart Stealer”.
The conviction was overturned on appeal in 2014, when a judge ruled that there was reasonable doubt whether Berlusconi knew he was underage.
Berlusconi was also acquitted on appeal for abuse of power in the prime minister’s office in trying to avoid theft charges against El Mahroug.
These included pretending she was the niece of then-President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak.
The scandal surrounding Ruby and Berlusconi’s infamous “Bunga Bunga” party (some described it as an orgy, but Mr. Berlusconi said it was an elegant dinner) has continued for years.
In February 2023, a court in Milan acquitted him of bribing witnesses to disguise what had happened, and he was acquitted in two related cases in Siena and Rome. A verdict followed.
Berlusconi was accused of offering millions of euros in hush money in the form of housing, cars and monthly payments.
But his lawyers argued that the money was compensation for reputational damage to those involved in the case.
After the 2023 Milan ruling, Berlusconi said he was acquitted “after more than 11 years of suffering, mud-throwing and incalculable political damage”.
– Any connection with the Mafia? –
Berlusconi was long suspected of having ties to the mafia and was under investigation by the authorities, but was never brought to justice.
He has repeatedly denied any ties to organized crime.
But his longtime colleague, Marcello Deyutoli, was jailed in the 2010s for acting as an intermediary between Berlusconi and the Sicilian Cosa Nostra Mafia in the 1970s.
According to the Italian Supreme Court of Appeal, it was Mr. D’Utoli who was responsible for Mr. Berlusconi’s hiring of Cosa Nostra members as stables at his villa outside Milan.
In 2012, a court said the billionaire had paid “hefty” protection fees to the mafia over two decades.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/berlusconis-many-brushes-with-the-law/news-story/a0b820e7dec22eeb13ad9c796cdab01c Mr Berlusconi committed a number of law violations