Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi Dodges Seven Years in Jail over "Ruby" Case

By | Jul 19, 2014 01:12 PM EDT
Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi

(Photo : Reuters)

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi prevails in a Milan appeals court on Friday which overturned his guilty verdict over paying for sex with an under-aged prostitute.

Berlusconi dodges seven years of prison-time for the "Ruby" case, where he was found guilty of paying for having sex with Karima El-Mahroug, a 17-year-old dancer in a nightclub more popularly known as "Ruby the Heartstealer" between February and May 2010.

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The three-time Italy prime minister was also accused of abusing his power as prime minister after allegedly pressuring the police to free "Ruby," who also denied having had sexual contact with Bersculoni, when she was in custody. The first-level decision was proclaimed on August 1 last year.

"The accusation was unjust and slanderous," the 77-year-old former prime minister claimed. The appeals court decision also revoked a lifetime prohibition from holding a government position.

Berlusconi was not able to attend the appeals court verdict on Friday because he was at a nursing home in Cesano Boscone where he serves a year of community service after being sentenced with tax fraud concerning his business empire Mediaset.

According to the Associated Press, prosecutors may still challenge the court of appeals ruling in the Court of Cassation, the highest criminal court in Italy.

Reports indicate that despite Berlusconi's triumph in court, his return to office may not be viable any time soon.

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