An Italian court acquitted former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi over allegations of bribing witnesses in an underage prostitution case during his “Bunga-Bunga” parties.
Berlusconi was accused of bribing 24 young people, mostly young guests at his raunchy parties to provide false testimony in another investigation where he was accused of paying for sex with an underaged Moroccan nightclub dancer.
🇮🇹 Berlusconi's lawyer said he was delighted with the verdict. https://t.co/SpnTESwTxb
— euronews (@euronews) February 15, 2023
In the court’s ruling, the judge said there was no case to answer. The prosecution demanded a six-year prison term for Berlusconi.
Berlusconi denied the allegations and said he is the victim of a plot aimed at moving him away from politics.
“I can only express our utmost satisfaction for this unequivocal acquittal,” said Berlusconi’s lawyer Federico Cecconi.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni welcomed the decision. Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party remains an important component of Italy’s right-wing conservative coalition government.
“The acquittal of Silvio Berlusconi is excellent news that puts an end to a long legal case that also had important repercussions on Italian political and institutional life,” Meloni said in a statement.
Since its start in 1994, Silvio Berlusconi’s political career has been marked by controversies and legal battles. He was temporarily banned from political office after a conviction for tax fraud in 2013. After the ban expired he came back to the Senate in the 2022 national elections.