Berlusconi: I Have Nothing to be Ashamed of

Posted September 16th, 2011 at 6:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has again denied charges of bribery, tax evasion and sexual misconduct — calling them “villainous” attempts to discredit him.

The beleaguered prime minister said Friday that he has done nothing to be ashamed of. In a letter to Italian political daily Il Foglio, he wrote that for the past three years he has been a victim of attempts to have his private life turned into a crime.

His lawyer Piero Longo said Mr. Berlusconi will appear at a hearing Monday in Milan to answer charges that he bribed his former attorney to give false testimony on his behalf. Mr. Berlusconi has typically avoided appearing in court in person.

In one of the biggest scandals linked to the prime minister, prosecutors allege that the 74-year-old Berlusconi paid an underage Moroccan-born girl to have sex with him. They say he also tried to use his influence to have the girl released from police custody after she was arrested for theft.

Mr. Berlusconi is also linked to the case of an Italian businessman who is under investigation for alleged recruiting of young women to attend Mr. Berlusconi's parties and have sex with him.