Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison for abuse of power and luring minors into prostitution in a case involving a young Moroccan woman known as Ruby.
The verdict, which is subject to two levels of appeal, includes a lifetime ban on Berlusconi's holding public office.
On trial was Berlusconi's suspected luring of minors into prostitution by maintaining paid sexual relations with Karima El Marough, alias Ruby, when she was under 18, while the abuse of power charge was based on the call he made to a Milan police station to demand the girl's release after she committed a robbery.
"This sentence has no connection with reality nor with legal procedures. The court was not concerned about reality," Berlusconi's lawyer, Niccolo Ghedini, told reporters as he left Milan's Palace of Justice.
Prosecutor Ilda Boccassini said during the trial that at the "bunga-bunga" parties at Berlusconi's mansion in Arcore near Milan, girls were invited "to be part of an organized prostitution system to satisfy the politician's appetite for sexual pleasure," and that Ruby obtained directly from the then-premier "whatever she needed to live" in exchange for it.
Boccassini was also aggressive with the abuse of power charge based on the call the then-prime minister made in May 2010 to a Milan police station where Ruby was in custody for a small theft, demanding her release on grounds that the girl was the niece of then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
For the prosecutor, the girl's supposed family ties to Mubarak was "a colossal lie" and the cops were well aware of it. EFE