Europe

Berlusconi appeals bunga bunga conviction

MILAN (AP) — Silvio Berlusconi's legal challenge to a conviction of paying for sex with an under-age prostitute opened Friday as the ex-premier spent his seventh morning working with Alzheimer's patients as part of a tax-fraud sentence.

Berlusconi is appealing a conviction, seven-year prison sentence and lifetime ban from politics. He denies having had sex with a Moroccan teenager, Karima el-Mahrough, better known as Ruby the Heart-Stealer, amid a wider scandal of racy, sex-fueled "bunga bunga" parties at the then-premier's villa near Milan.

The appeals trial is focused on technicalities and is expected to conclude in four sessions, with a possible verdict July 18. Berlusconi, 77, is performing community service four hours a week as part of his sentence for tax fraud. The four-year sentence was reduced to one year under a general amnesty, which can be applied to first convictions.

Verdicts in Italy are not considered final until all appeals are exhausted, which usually means a final appeal to Italy's supreme Cassation Court.

Related Headlines

  • Italian court acquits Berlusconi in sex case

    An Italian appeals court on Friday acquitted former Premier Silvio Berlusconi in a sex-for-hire case, reversing a lower court conviction that had carried a seven-year prison ... 

  • Berlusconi to work with Alzheimer's patients

    Administrators at the center where Silvio Berlusconi will perform community service for a tax fraud conviction say the three-time former Italian premier will be assigned to ... 

  • Matteo Renzi

    Renzi boosted by European vote

    Italian Premier Matteo Renzi pledged Monday to accelerate his government's reform course after receiving a boost in European elections that helped Italy join Germany as the ... 

  • Italy's Renzi enhances anti-corruption czar

    Premier Matteo Renzi gave his top anti-corruption official enhanced powers Friday aimed at preventing scandals like the one that forced the resignation earlier in the day of ...