Sat, May 28, 2011 - Page 6 News List

Berlusconi bemoans Italy judges to Obama at G8

Reuters, DEAUVILLE, FRANCE

Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s prime minister, left, passes British Prime Minister David Cameron during the G8 summit in Deauville, France, on Thursday.

Photo: EPA

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi took his personal legal problems to the G8 meeting in France on Thursday, telling US President Barack Obama Italy was under the yoke of a virtual dicatorship of left-wing judges.

The Italian prime minister is facing four concurrent trials, three for fraud or corruption and the sensational “Rubygate” case, where he is charged with paying for sex with an underage Moroccan prostitute and then using his position to cover it up.

“We have presented a justice reform that is fundamental to us, in Italy we have almost a dictatorship of leftist judges,” Berlusconi told a surprised-looking Obama during a pause in the G8 before a discussion of nuclear issues.

Obama got up from his seat and listened to Berlusconi’s comments without making any reply.

In Italy, Berlusconi constantly attacks Italy’s judges and prosecutors, whom he accuses of persecuting him.

However, opposition leaders and the national magistrates association (ANM) were outraged that he should do so on an international stage.

“It’s very serious that this has happened abroad and that a fundamental state institution should be denigrated even before one of the most powerful heads of state in the world,” ANM president Luca Palamara said.

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