BERLUSCONI FACES BRIBERY CHARGES

Sunday Sport - - NEWS -

FOR­MER Eyetie prime min­is­ter Sil­vio Berlusconi was dealt a blow in his hopes of once again lead­ing Italy af­ter he was or­dered to stand trial on charges of brib­ing a wit­ness in a “bunga bunga” sex trial.

The randy 81- year- old is ac­cused of hav­ing bribed a wit­ness to give false tes­ti­mony in a trial four years ago, in which he was ac­cused of pay­ing for sex with an un­der­age pros­ti­tute, a Moroc­can- born belly dancer who called her­self Ruby the Heart Stealer.

The trial will be­gin in Siena, in Tus­cany, in Fe­bru­ary.

It means that Mr Berlusconi will be on trial, ac­cused of a se­ri­ous of­fence, at the same time that he tries to make a po­lit­i­cal come­back as the leader of a cen­tre- Right coali­tion – chal­leng­ing the cen­tre- Left and the Five Star Move­ment.

Elec­tion

A gen­eral elec­tion must be called by May, al­though the ex­act date has not been an­nounced yet.

Mr Berlusconi is al­ready un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for brib­ing wit­nesses in other ju­ris­dic­tions in Italy and this lat­est trial will not stop him from stand­ing for of­fice.

He has been ac­cused by pros­e­cu­tors of brib­ing the ac­tresses and star­lets who at­tended his so- called “bunga bunga” par­ties at his hol­i­day villa in Sar­dinia and his res­i­dence out­side Milan.

It’s been re­ported that at the par­ties women dressed up as po­lice­women and nuns and then per­formed strip teases.

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