The prosecution asked for a sentence of 6 years, 29 defendants. Karima El Marough waiting in court
Corruptor or generous man? AND’ waiting for todaybefore the judges of the seventh criminal section of the court of Milan, the sentence for Silvio Berlusconi and 28 other defendants accused, for various reasons, of corruption in judicial acts and perjury in the Ruby ter trial. The ruling closes a six-year trial in which the Milanese prosecutor accuses the leader of Forza Italia of having paid – starting from November 2011 and up to 2015 – around 10 million euros to the young guests of Arcore for being reticent or lying during the Ruby and Ruby bis trials on the evenings at Villa San Martino. An accusation from which the former prime minister has always defended himself by speaking of “generosity” to reward those who have seen their lives ruined by a judicial investigation which soon exploded in the press.
For the “grand elder”the man who hosted “odalisques, sex slaves who for a fee amused him and enlivened his evenings” the prosecution – represented by prosecutors Tiziana Siciliano and Luca Gaglio – asked for a sentence of 6 years in prison, for a “corruption whose evidence has been found”. Monthly transfers of 2,500 euros, houses and jewels, those benefits “are not made for a sort of loss of chance: the girls were paid – according to the prosecution – because they didn’t tell the truth”. Of different opinion, the defenses, starting from that of Cav. “We are facing a corruption trial for public claims in which Berlusconi has publicly said that he is helping some of the defendants. Was the corruption agreement identified by chance? No, there is not even a sprout of it, all the elements are of a circumstantial and unsuitable to consider the crime committed”, the words of thelawyer Federico Cecconi who with his colleague Franco Coppi claims the acquittal.
At risk of a sentence are 20 girls (requests for a sentence between 3 and 5 years) accused of perjury and corruption, including Karima El Marough known as Ruby (5 years old) – she will be present in the courtroom today, barring second thoughts – and former partner Luca Risso (6 years and 6 months, higher penalty for perjury and money laundering). But there are also people close to Berlusconi at trial such as the former senator Maria Rosaria Rossi (requested for 1 year and 4 months) and the journalist Carlo Rossella. Absolution was requested only for one defendant (Luca Pedrini).
Reaching out to the defense is the order of November 3, 2021 of the Milan court which declares the stories of the ‘Olgettines’ “inadmissible”, who were heard in the Ruby and Ruby bis trials while already being investigated. As many as 18 testimonies “are affected by absolute unusability due to violation of the legal guarantees set up to protect the prohibition of self-incrimination”, the thesis of the judges of the seventh section presided over by Marco Tremolada. They were not witnesses so they could be acquitted of false testimony, and without the qualification of public official, a necessary premise for the crime of corruption, the accusation against Berlusconi, already acquitted in Rome and Siena, could also be dismissed.
Standing against the leader of Forza Italia, only the statements of Barbara Guerra remain (ready to make spontaneous statements) and Iris Berardi, while since yesterday the State Attorney’s Office has taken a step back. After asking for compensation of 10.8 million euros for the “global discredit” caused by the investigation into the then prime minister, he has now renounced all claims.
The verdict comes after a long and tortuous process (started on 11 January 2017), on which four judges expressed their opinion and on which the territorial jurisdiction, the legitimate impediments and the stop for the pandemic weighed. And the ‘mystery’ of Imane Fadil’s death also hovered over the trial, believed to be a key prosecution witness and died of bone marrow aplasia on March 1, 2019, after a month of agony in hospital. “The truthfulness” of the statements made as a person informed about the facts “had really convinced us that in his statements there was no attempt to raise the price of a possible silence, but there was a deep and still open wound”, the words of the public prosecution .
Ruby ter is, essentially, the last act of an investigation that kicks off after the night in the police station between 27 and 28 May 2010, when Karima El Marough, stage name Ruby Rubacuori, is arrested for a theft. The then prime minister Berlusconi telephoned the chief of staff explaining that the girl would be the niece of the Egyptian president Mubarak and that Nicole Minetti, regional councilor at the time, would arrive to take her into foster care. A few days later, after an argument, the 17-year-old Moroccan ends up in a protected structure and the investigation into the Arcore evenings was born from her statements and the press discovered the bunga-bunga.
In the Ruby trial, Berlusconi was acquitted of extortion and child prostitution charges, in the Ruby bis Lele Mora, Nicole Minetti and Emilio Fede end up in the dock instead accused, for various reasons, of inducing and aiding and abetting prostitution, including underage prostitution, for the evenings at Villa San Martino. From the documents of those two proceedings, from the testimonies givenfrom that presumed corruptive agreement which according to the prosecution was made “embryo” in January 2011 with a meeting in Arcore between Berlusconi, his lawyers and the girls, the last strand of the ‘judicial saga’ is born, which sees the leader of Forza Italia as the protagonist.