Berlusconi trial put off until after Italian vote


Silvio Berlusconi’s trial on charges of paying for sex with a minor will be postponed until after this month’s election due to his campaign commitments, Italian judges have ruled.

The next hearing in the trial will now be on March 4th, a week after the February 24th-25th elections.

Milan judges upheld an argument from Mr Berlusconi’s legal team yesterday that his political campaign constituted a legitimate impediment to his attendance.

Mr Berlusconi (76), a media magnate and leader of the centre-right coalition who faces separate trials for tax fraud and other offences, has had all his trials postponed until March.

The so-called “bunga bunga” scandal, in which Mr Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with an underage night-club dancer, was among factors that accelerated his demise as prime minister in late 2011, at the peak of the euro zone debt crisis.


Mr Berlusconi has conducted a vigorous television campaign which has enabled him to pick up support in opinion polls, but his centre-right alliance still lags behind the centre-left Democratic Party. – (Reuters)