Informazioni che faticano a trovare spazio

Alfano si è guadagnato l’eredità. Berlusconi riconoscente lo candida come successore. Poi Bonaiuti smentisce…

Un gruppo di corrispondenti esteri. E Berlusconi. Che dice: nel 2013 passo le redini ad Alfano. Poi Bonaiuti, portavoce, si affanna a correggere: è stato solo enfatizzato un discorso…

Dal Guardian del 13.4.2011:

Silvio Berlusconi names justice minister Angelino Alfano as likely successor

Italian PM says he won’t stand in 2013 and tips minister who steered through parliament a bill that could halt his bribery trial

John Hooper in Rome, Wednesday 13 April 2011 20.13 BST

Article history

Silvio Berlusconi has named as his likely successor a young minister who on Wednesday steered through parliament a measure which will have the effect of halting the trial in which Italy‘s prime minister is accused of bribing his British lawyer, David Mills.

Speaking to a restricted group of foreign correspondents on Tuesday night, the 74 year-old prime minister revealed that he would not stand at the next general election in 2013. And he indicated Angelino Alfano, his 40-year-old Sicilian justice minister, was the person to whom he intended entrusting his party.

Alfano yesterday oversaw the passage of a bill that critics maintain was expressly crafted to enable the prime minister to escape justice. According to the body that oversees the judiciary, some 14,000 other trials will also be halted by the bill that was debated amid raucous scenes in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of parliament. A final vote was due last night, but a clause that guarantees the scrapping of the Mills trial was approved by 306 to 288.

Berlusconi and his followers have defended the measure, which guillotines legal proceedings in a court system notorious for delays, as a contribution to the speeding up of proceedings.

One result is that action will not now be taken against builders, officials and property developers suspected of responsibility for deaths that occurred during the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake. More than 300 people died – many in buildings allegedly constructed with sub-standard materials.

An amendment to exclude the investigation from the terms of the measure was voted down by the government majority. Outside, relatives of the victims hurled insults at Berlusconi’s followers as they came in and out of the parliament building.

Berlusconi left his audience on Tuesday night in no doubt about the depth of his loathing for what he indicated was a section of the judiciary whose aim was to subvert Italian democracy and prevent the right from holding office. He said that if correspondents had failed to understand that there was a war in progress between the executive and the judiciary, they had understood nothing of Italy.

The dinner, attended by the Guardian, was held on an off-the-record basis. But a detailed account of the proceedings was leaked and published early on Wednesday. Other reports appeared later.

The prime minister is on trial in three cases, and risks arraignment in a fourth. In the Mills trial he is accused of paying $600,000 (£370,000) to his formal legal adviser for withholding court testimony that might otherwise have led to his conviction.

The guillotine law will not affect the trial in which Berlusconi denies paying an underage teenager for sex and the abuse of his position to organise a cover-up. The charges revolve around “bunga bunga” sessions involving dozens of dancers, beauty queens and alleged prostitutes at his villa outside Milan.

The Berlusconi camp freely admits that his weekend dinner guests were drawn from a circle that included “about 100” young women. But the prime minister denies there was anything improper.

His version of events has been challenged, however, by the publication of statements to prosecutors by two young beauty queens, one of whom said they were “literally terrorised” on a visit to Berlusconi’s mansion. They said they had been taken there by Emilio Fede, a newsreader on one of the prime minister’s television channels who is under investigation for aiding and abetting prostitution – an accusation he denies.

After describing how other guests stripped as they danced for the prime minister, Chiara Danese, then aged 18, said: “Berlusconi and Fede encouraged the girls to get involved in the game. They said: ‘Go on, take off your clothes … strip … dance’.” She added: “All we wanted to do was get out of there, but we didn’t know how to.”

Eventually, she and Ambra Battilana, also then 18, went to see Fede. Danese reported him as replying: “If you want to leave, fine. But don’t think you’ll become weather girls or Miss Italy.” Berlusconi’s lawyers said the accounts were “lacking any basis and at odds with numerous statements of a totally opposite nature”.


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