From ANSA news agency in Italy:
Ruby witness Imane Fadil dies
Murder probe opened
Milan, March 15 – A Moroccan-origin model who was a key prosecution witness in the ‘Ruby’ underage prostitute trials involving ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi has died after claiming to have been poisoned.
A murder probe has been opened, police said.
They said she had died after a “month of agony”.
She was awake until the end despite progressive organ failure. Imane Fadil, 34, died March 1 at the Humanitas Clinic at Rozzano near Milan where she had been admitted at the end of January.
She told her relatives and lawyer that she was afraid she had been poisoned.
on appeal, after having been convicted in another court earlier
after judges said he did not know Ruby was a minor.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
According to the Italian press, Fadil was working on a book about her experiences at Berlusconi’s controversial parties. The public prosecutor is said to have a copy of the manuscript.
This video says about itself:
10 May 2014
Italy’s highest court has upheld the mafia collusion conviction of a longtime adviser to former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
He was convicted of acting as a go-between linking the Sicilian mafia and business leaders in Milan.
Dell’Utri was detained in Lebanon after being declared a fugitive from justice.
He was discovered staying at a Beirut hotel. Dell’Utri is currently being detained in hospital in the Lebanese capital after falling ill.
The court’s decision is final and could pave the way for his extradition back to Italy.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 20 April 2018:
by Mustafa Marghadi, correspondent in Italy
Silvio Berlusconi suffered a severe blow from a court in Palermo. According to the court, it is proven that the Italian state in the 1990’s negotiated with the mafia to stop a wave of bombings. In 1994, Berlusconi became Prime Minister of Italy for the first time.
In the case, three former police chiefs and two mafia bosses were sentenced today. But more importantly, Marcello Dell’Utri was also found guilty. He is a former senator and co-founder of Berlusconi’s party, Forza Italia. According to the prosecutor, it is proved that Dell’Utri was the channel for the mafia to transfer requests to the Berlusconi government.
End of political career?
The smell of the mafia has been hanging around Berlusconi for some time, mainly because his right hand Dell’Utri is already serving a prison sentence for ties with the mafia. Berlusconi has always denied involvement with the mafia. Even now he is furious and he threatens to sue the public prosecutor for defamation.
This statement can have major consequences for the government formation that is currently under way in Italy. The anti-establishment Five Star movement has so far refused to work with a coalition of center right parties because Berlusconi‘s Forza Italia is part of it. Berlusconi, according to the politicians of the Five Star Movement, stands for the corrupt politics they want to clean up.
The anti-immigration [extreme right] party Lega [Nord], on the other hand, especially wanted to form a government with Berlusconi. But after this ruling, the Five Star movement demands that Berlusconi will no longer participate in a government. If the Lega now agrees, then something may happen that has often been predicted wrongly: a definitive end to the political career of Silvio Berlusconi.
Six weeks after the March 4 parliamentary election there is still no new Italian government in sight. On April 13, President Sergio Mattarella also broke off the second round of consultations without any result: here.
This video says about itself:
21 November 2013
Proof that former Italy prime minister Silvio Berlusconi paid for sex with dancer Karima El Marough.
Translated from Dutch ANP news agency:
Berlusconi has to stand trial again in ‘Ruby’ case
January 28, 2017 15:44
Italian ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi has to stand trial again in the ‘Ruby’ case, the Milan court has decided this Saturday.
Witnesses said they just had “elegant parties” during the evenings in the villa of the former prime minister.
According to the prosecution Berlusconi has paid a total of nearly 10 million euros. Moroccan Karima El Marough (Ruby) is said to have received approximately 7 million from the former prime minister.
In March 2015 Berlusconi was cleared of the suspicion of having had paid sex with the then underage Ruby. That decision was partly based on statements of these witnesses.
Former Italy PM Berlusconi to stand trial in sex bribery case: here.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV:
Italian newspaper distributes Mein Kampf as its weekend supplement
An Italian newspaper has fallen into disrepute because it published Hitler‘s Mein Kampf as its supplement in the Saturday edition. The Jewish community in Italy and historians call the action of the newspaper “indecent” and “dangerous”.
The newspaper Il Giornale published the complete and original Italian edition of Mein Kampf from 1937
so, from a time when Mussolini, fascist dictator of Italy, was Hitler’s ally
today as part of a series of eight books about the Nazis. The controversial book by Hitler is first in the series.
Abyss of hatred
A spokesman for the Jewish community in Italy responded yesterday to the announcement of the publication. “It should be clearly stated: the action of Il Giornale is indecent,” said Renzo Gettegna. He calls the free distribution by the newspaper “a filthy act light years away from any single logic when it comes to studying the Holocaust.” According to him, it does not do justice to “the factors which made humanity sank into an abyss of infinite hate, death and violence.” …
Il Giornale is a conservative newspaper which has always supported former Prime Minister Berlusconi
being (partly) owned by Berlusconi
says correspondent Rop Zoutberg. “What critics find objectionable is that Il Giornale is trying to get its sales up by the publication of Mein Kampf.”
Earlier this week there was also in Germany a fuss over plans for a new publication of Mein Kampf by a right-wing conservative publishing house. The book is in stores in Germany since the beginning of this yea, but only in a version in which lies and inaccuracies are shown in Hitler’s argumentation. In the Netherlands the trade in a reprint of the book is banned.
See also here.
From the New York Times in the USA, 1 June 2016:
A German publisher of right-wing books has begun selling a reprint of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” originally issued in 1943 by the Nazi party’s central publishing house, a move that risks violating Germany’s law against the distribution of Nazi propaganda.
Now, state prosecutors in the German city of Leipzig, where the publisher, Der Schelm, is based, are investigating whether they can press charges. …
The move comes as a new far-right political party, Alternative for Germany, has risen in popularity, in part, by appealing to fears linked to the arrival last year of a million migrants and by questioning many of the liberal policies and premises that have dominated public discourse in postwar Germany.
On that 1 December 2010, two prominent foreign politicians met in dictatorially ruled Kazakhstan. They were the then United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the then Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berloscuni.
However, today it turns out that behind these oh so ‘friendly’ scenes, something very different was going on in those years 2010-2011.
From Edward Snowden and other revelations, we know that the National Security Agency in the USA not only spies on millions of United States citizens. They also do economical espionage on businesses abroad. They also spy on governments who are supposedly ‘allies’ and ‘friends’. Like on the Japanese government. Like on the German government of Ms Angela Merkel. Like on the Israeli government of Mr Netanyahu.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV:
Italy angry at the USA because of spying on Berlusconi
The Italian newspaper La Repubblica this morning revealed that the National Security Agency NSA has spied in 2011 on many more phone calls by Berlusconi and people around him than previously had been known. In that period more world leaders were spied upon, including [German] Chancellor Merkel.
The newspaper relies on secret information that was made public by WikiLeaks. “We want everything in this case to become clear,” Prime Minister Renzi said after angry reactions from Forza Italia, Berlusconi’s party.
White House spearheads assault on cell phone encryption: here.
This video from Italy says about itself:
31 May 2013
“Meglio essere appassionati delle belle ragazze che gay” (“Better to have a passion for beautiful girls than being gay”) is one of the most famous wisecracks of the former prime minister of Italy, the media billionaire Silvio Berlusconi.
Germany: Hostility below the surface
Penal code § 175, outlawing gay sex, was of course abolished decades ago, we have openly gay foreign ministers and other openly lesbian and gay politicians – and it’s been legal now to “marry” your partner by committing to a civil union (without some rights like the right to adoption as a couple etc.). But recent homophobic attacks against Baden-Württemberg’s proposed new school curriculum that includes the teaching of sexual diversity shows that there’s lots of resentment under the surface.
Of course, compared to having to fear for one’s personal safety on a daily basis, things in Germany are pretty good. But I find it nonetheless annoying to have people take for granted that I have a husband just because I’m a woman. And it’s not just annoying but sad that in smaller German towns, gays and lesbians are practically invisible and are too afraid to be recognized by neighbors or bosses to join a gay parade, if there is one in the first place. And I feel it is altogether tragic and shocking to hear, after having moved to a different town, that a young lesbian acquaintance of mine — one of those who did not join the parade — has committed suicide.
So, on the surface lots of rainbow colors, but it’s still pretty dark underneath.
A bit of better news from the USA: Same-sex couples flock to Arkansas after judge strikes down marriage ban.
And not so good news from the USA: Boycott launched against openly gay St Louis Rams player Michael Sam, by Christian lobbyist Jack Burkman.
Greek bishop condemns homosexuality as ‘perversion of human existence’: here.
Britain: MANY in the LGBT community fear a return to the “dark ages” on HIV awareness as the government’s austerity programme silences key programmes, activists were told yesterday: here.
Singapore bans library books that show gay couples. Politician Yaacob Ibrahim says government must abide by ‘community norms’: here.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Friday 9th May 2014
Mr Matacena was declared a fugitive last summer. He was tried for ties with the Calabrian ’ndrangheta crime syndicate.
Mr Scajola resigned as industry minister in 2010 amid allegations that he paid far below market value for a luxury apartment overlooking the Colosseum in Rome.
He was later tried and acquitted of wrongdoing.
Mr Scajola is the second close Berlusconi aide to come under judicial scrutiny.
Silvio Berlusconi has spent hundreds of thousands of euros on 21 young women, to ensure their silence over events at his “bunga bunga” parties, Italian prosecutors allege, as they prepare to wrap up the probe that could see the mogul indicted for judicial corruption – and therefore facing charges of tampering with witnesses: here.
Liking sleazy sex was embarrassing. But trying to cover up the presence of an underage sex worker at his ‘bunga bunga’ parties was deadly serious. Michael Day, author of a new book on Berlusconi, explains how Italy’s ex-PM lost the plot: here.
Federica Gagliardi: Berlusconi’s ‘White Lady’ jailed for 3 years for cocaine smuggling. A video has emerged showing how Gagliardi, 34, feigned surprise as Italian police officers extracted brick after brick of solid cocaine from her wheeled suitcase and backpack: here.
This video from Italy says about itself:
27 March 2009
Once upon a time, Berlusconi hired a man to work as broom at his villa: his name was Vittorio Mangano and, incidentally, he was also a Mafia member,who will be sentenced to imprisonment for murder and similar nice stuff.
From daily The Guardian in Britain:
John Hooper in Rome
Sunday 13 April 2014 16.02 BST
Silvio Berlusconi‘s longstanding associate with whom he co-founded Italy‘s main rightwing party is expected to appear before a magistrate in Beirut on Monday at a hearing for a decision on the legality of his arrest.
Marcello Dell’Utri, who allegedly acted as a mediator between the Cosa Nostra and Berlusconi, was detained at a five-star hotel in the Lebanese capital at the end of last week. This has come before a final ruling by the Italian supreme court, due on Tuesday, on his appeal against a seven-year sentence for colluding with the Sicilian mafia. The 72-year-old senator’s lawyer said it was illogical to think his client was seeking to escape justice, since he had used his own name and credit card to book into the hotel.
Berlusconi was quoted on Sunday as having said it was he who had sent Dell’Utri to Lebanon. The daily La Repubblica said the former prime minister told a delegation from his Forza Italia (“Come on Italy”) party that he was responding to a request from Vladimir Putin. The Russian president had asked him to do what he could to help the leader of Lebanon’s Kataeb party, Amine Gemayel, to regain the presidency.
The warrant for Dell’Utri’s arrest cited a bugged discussion between the senator’s brother and a friend which the judges said showed there was a “serious and concrete danger” of Dell’Utri’s trying to establish himself abroad before the supreme court ruling. Some Italian newspapers on Sunday published extracts from the transcripts of the recordings.
Speaking on 8 November 2013, Alberto Dell’Utri, the senator’s twin, said: “Ten days ago, Marcello dined in Rome with … an important politician from the Lebanon who has been president and is putting himself up in the forthcoming elections and on 14 November he is planning to go to Beirut to see.”
However, the two men, whose conversation was taped as part of a separate investigation, also discussed the possibility of the senator might in future shuttle between Lebanon and west Africa on a diplomatic passport issued by the authorities in Guinea-Bissau as part of a scheme to exploit the country’s mineral riches. The transcripts indicated that Alberto Dell’Utri was proposing his brother should make a big donation to the country through an NGO set up by Berlusconi for building hospitals in Africa. Alberto Dell’Utri’s friend suggested a figure of €5m (£4.1m) might be appropriate.
“All that Marcello needs to do is go to Silvio and tell him: ‘Silvio, I’m going to Guinea-Bissau’: explain everything to him … ‘I’m founding a soccer school for the kids,'” Alberto Dell’Utri commented.
Marcello Dell’Utri – then the head of the advertising arm of Berlusconi’s vast business empire – created Forza Italia! from scratch in 1993, appointing his own executives to be its earliest officials. His conviction for collaboration with Cosa Nostra refers only to a period ending the previous year.
Lawyers expressed conflicting opinions on the difficulties of extraditing Dell’Utri from Lebanon if the supreme court upholds his conviction on Tuesday.
Super-rich septuagenarian Silvio Berlusconi will have to spend four hours a week serving the elderly to repay Italian society for tax fraud: here.
Sometimes in Italy, extreme Right people get lenient sentences for their crimes.
From The Local in Italy:
Berlusconi ‘begs President for pardon’
Published: 03 Apr 2014 11:42 GMT+02:00
Italy’s beleaguered former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi paid a visit on Wednesday to President Giorgio Napolitano, ostensibly to discuss political reforms but also to ask for a pardon for his criminal convictions, according to media reports.
In an official note, the presidential palace confirmed that the Forza Italia leader had requested the meeting to lay out his party’s political positions at a time when centre-left Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is quickly pressing ahead with a broad palette of reforms.
But in his meeting with Napolitano on Wednesday, Berlusconi also took the opportunity to request a presidential pardon for his criminal convictions, newspaper La Stampa reports, citing parliamentary sources.
Berlusconi told Napolitano he feared for his political freedom ahead of sentencing on April 10th for a tax-fraud conviction, the newspaper said. Judges in Milan are expected either to sentence him to house arrest or to order him to perform community service.
Berlusconi earlier described the idea of him carrying out community service as humiliating both for him and the country.
The President turned down his request for clemency, the newspaper said.
Berlusconi’s tax-fraud conviction led to a two-year ban from holding public office and also prevents the man who dominated Italian politics for two decades from running in elections.
Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has been hospitalized with an inflamed knee: here.
Ex-Berlusconi government official arrested for mafia collusion: here.
Protests have mounted in recent weeks reflecting deep-seated anger among Italian workers against the Democratic Party government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and its anti-working class policies. The response of the government has been to unleash police violence against demonstrators: here.