He Will Be Tried
    By Tommaso Dorigo | February 16th 2011 03:04 AM | 19 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
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    I am an experimental particle physicist working with the CMS experiment at CERN. In my spare time I play chess, abuse the piano, and aim my dobson...

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    Finally, it looks like Silvio Berlusconi will be tried. The judge for preliminary investigations has accepted the request of an immediate trial, put forth by the magistrates who collected a large body of evidence on the recent crimes of the Italian premier. The trial will be held on April 6th... Unless Berlusconi manages to produce the umpteenth law to protect himself from the charges of unlawful conduct he has collected in the past 20 years, effectively putting him above Italian law.

    The charges he will face are of exaction ("concussione" is the Italian juridical term) and induction to prostitution of a underage girl (which is a serious crime in Italy). By offering large amounts of money and other goods, he obtained sexual favors from a host of young girls during parties he himself dubbed "bunga bunga". Further, during an extended period of time he indulged in paid sexual practices with a 17-year-old girl. The charge of "concussione" is instead connected to Berlusconi's intervention to free his 17-year-old girl one night, when she had been arrested by the police. He lied to the officials, claiming that the girl was the grand-daughter of Hosni Mubarak in an attempt to justify his interest in avoiding the arrest of the girl. His real interest was instead quite different: the girl was threatening to reveal their relationship if he did not get her out of trouble.

    The fact that Berlusconi is a sex addicted old man who spends his time organizing his decadent nights rather than dealing with the troubling economy of Italy is well known and it has even been revealed in files published by wikileaks a few montsh ago. It would be enough to cause his immediate demise in a more balanced country. In Italy, however, he may count in a hard core of supporters, both inside and outside the parliament, who just want him to stay where he is, to protect their own affairs and economical interests and privileges. So despite the embarassing situation that the Italian premier has falled into, he holds on to his power and refuses to resign. It might really take a court ruling to kick him out of palazzo Chigi.

    In the meantime, his lawyers and lacqueys are crying at the "golpe" and attempt in all ways to de-legitimate the judges, claiming that Berlusconi should be protected by the assault of the third power of the state -the judiciary one. Whether they will succeed in pulling him out of a trial whose verdict is already written, is still to be seen.


    Doesn't the Italian law respect Parliamentary immunity? Hasn't he been a member of the Parliament since 1994?

    Parliamentary immunity exists for a good reason - to prevent others from blackmailing the politicians and change their important political decisions, affecting the whole country, as a result of a blackmailing involving some irrelevant stories such as the politician's sexual life.

    Let's experiment. Let's see if I can break the chain of events going like:
    1. post by Tommaso about Berlusconi 2. reply by Lubos supporting Berlusconi 3. reply by Hank supporting Berlusconi 4. other comments!
    I wonder what the people supporting Berlusconi in this case would say if he were a communist leader. And I wonder because their opinion is solely based on the fact that they're right wing, and on nothing else. Wait, let's rather be honest: I don't wonder.

    Wait Eleni, your prediction is a post-diction except for Hank's post -which I also predict will occur soon. It would be more fun to predict what will be the fate of Berlusconi: will he be tried in the end ? I do not think he will ever be seen behind bars anyway, because he is the kind of person that would fly in one of his golden prisons in Antigua rather than be exposed to the shame.

    I hate being predictable!  So, fine, I will not support him, other than to say at least he makes Italians look good.   When an American political leader steps out, she makes America look bad,

     whereas at least Berlusconi cheats with women Italians won't be embarrassed seeing in the worldwide press.

    Hi Hank,

    > whereas at least Berlusconi cheats with women Italians won't be embarrassed seeing in the worldwide press.

    Based on the data you have, this statement is correct.
    But your data are biased, probably because the worldwide press, quite understandably, prefers to feature the best-looking Bunga-Bunga girls on its front pages.
    Being at my workplace it would be inappropriate for me to google to provide you with more data, but I can assure you that in the industrial-size sample of skanky bimbos (with some occasional cute girl) who attended his parties I found an astonishingly low average aestethical standard, given the circumstances.

    It's highly debatable whether a Prime Minister or President
    should be free to mess up with as many expensive whores as
    he can handle.

    My personal opinion is that if the guy does it with the discretion
    expected from his high political position and in a very private way
    compatible with the dignity of his office, then there should not be
    much to say about it.

    But messing up with an underage whore is a gross error, even
    for a plain citizen, and a proof of extremely poor judgement
    and incompetence.

    That guy must go ASAP.

    Anon, nobody cares if he spends money with paid girls. At least, I don't. The problem here, however, is twofold. One, that he is committing a crime (actually, two). Two, there is a broader issue with the way he takes his girls and pays them with fresh cash for a while, then managest to get them elected in the parliament (so that Italians, eventually, pay for the girl with their tax money), even to positions of ministers. Two of our ministers are former mistresses of Berlusconi, in fact.

    This is frankly intolerable.

    What, no mention of the ONE MILLION women (and men) who demonstrated against Berlusconi in Rome? I can't believe there are any women at all who would vote for this creep. Oh wait, yes I can. We live in a world full of Luboses and Berlusconis and Mubaraks ... on their way out.

    Berlusconi has been acting as if he were Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, (put your favorite corrupt Roman emperor here) etc. etc. Let's see what comes out of trial.

    Classic FM has just been treating us to Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini, the music of which is a very appropriate representation of what is likely to happen next.

    Is Gianfranco Fini waiting in the wings?

    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Britain was there long before Italy! Call girl Christine Keeler's notorious affair with war secretary John Profumo toppled a Conservative government in 1963:

    If Berlusconi is indeed on his way out, doesn't he deserve a little send-off Bunga Bunga party?

    To add to Nige Cook’s comment above:

    While giving evidence at the trial of Stephen Ward, charged with living off the immoral earnings of Keeler and Rice-Davies, the latter made a famous riposte. When the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her, she replied, "Well, he would, wouldn't he?" (often misquoted as "Well he would say that, wouldn't he?"). By 1979 this phrase had entered the third edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.
                                     (from the linked Wikipedia article)
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Berlusconi has managed to wiggle out of every judicial trial.
    What makes you so confident he can't do it again?

    Not confident at all. But the news is as I reported it...
    So, believe it or not, the Berlusconi era is over. Who'd have told?

    In the end it was not because of Ruby, but more like because of Angela... Merkel!

    Be that as it may, congratulations to the Italian people. This regime-change was long overdue.

    And, yes, he may well end up being tried after all.

    Well, he was already on trial, but now of course it will be harder for him to escape a judgement.
    And what are we going to get in his place?  I have already heard “Super” Mario Monti referred to as a technocrat.

    The European project is now sustained by coup

    What we have witnessed is a coup d’état: bloodless and genteel, but a coup d’état none the less. In Athens and in Rome, elected prime ministers have been toppled in favour of Eurocrats – respectively a former Vice-President of the European Central Bank and a former European Commissioner. Both countries now have what are called ‘national governments’, though they have been put together for the sole purpose of implementing policies that would be rejected in a general election.
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    That point of view is rather myopic Robert. More than 50% of Italians are in favour of giving premiership to Monti, as opposed to some 23% who still supported Berlusconi. What's more, it was clear to everybody that Berlusconi was incapable of handling the crisis, being too concerned with his own business and trials, not to mention the plethora of escorts lining up in front of his bedroom door.