Former PM Berlusconi gets April 5 trial date
A Milan judge on Saturday ordered Silvio Berlusconi to be tried on corruption charges, damping the 80-year-old former Italian prime minister’s hopes of running soon for office again after being sidelined by a taxfraud conviction.
The Italian news agency ANSA, reporting from Milan, said Judge Carlo Ottone De Marchi, after a hearing on an indictment request by prosecutors, set the trial to begin April 5 in that city.
The Milan daily Corriere della Sera says the former three-time premier is accused of shelling out about 10 million euros plus expensive gifts to 20 young women who attended sexy parties at his Arcore villa near Milan. Prosecutors have alleged that Berlusconi aimed to “buy” the women’s silence in various trials involving him. His attorneys have denied any wrongdoing by their client.
Performers dance as they make their way to the town square in Pernik, Bulgaria, for the opening of the International Festival of the Masquerade Games. The two-day festival, also known as the Surva Carnival, is the largest traditional folklore event of its type in the Balkans.