Berlusconi: The Man Of Scandals
By Kourosh Ziabari
27 February, 2011
Silvio Berlusconi is an internationally renowned figure, but not for
his good reputation as an upright and respectable statesman, rather as
a notorious man who can be called one of the most corrupt politicians
of the world in all terms.
An unflappable and defiant politician who has accumulated a collection
of criminal charges for which he hasn't been held accountable so far,
Berlusconi is approaching the first stages of punishment for several
crimes he committed during his three terms of premiership in Italy.
According to Forbes magazine, he is the 74th richest man in the world
with a net worth of $9 billion. Being the third richest man in Italy,
Berlusconi owns assets in the fields of television, newspapers,
publishing, cinema, finance, banking, insurance and sports. His main
business is Mediaset which comprises three national television
channels that collectively cover a half of the national television
sector. Italy's largest publishing house, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore
also belongs to him. Before entering the world of politics, he managed
several successful business projects including Milano 2, a huge
residential project of about 10,500 apartments. In 1978 he established
his first media group Fininvest and earned up to €58.3 million through
But this prosperous and well-off man who is considered to be the
longest-serving head of G8 group has irrefutable criminal offenses
which have blackened his performance sheet incorrigibly.
There are evidences which indicate that Berlusconi has had close
relations with the Sicilian Mafia, known as Cosa Nostra, which is a
criminal syndicate that emerged in mid 19th century in Sicily.
According to the UK's Daily Telegraph, the allegations of Berlusconi's
connection with mafia intensified when he entered politics in the
early 1990s and became Prime Minister for the first time in 1994. In
an in-depth report which elaborately discussed Berlusconi's
underground relations with mafia, Daily Telegraph wrote: "[In 1974]
Mr. Berlusconi lays the foundations for what will become a
multi-billion pound fortune by building a housing development called
Milano II on the outskirts of Milan. [There were] claims that Sicily's
"Cosa Nostra" invested heavily in the project. The allegation was most
recently repeated in a court in Sicily in February this year when
Massimo Ciancimino, the son of a Mafia don, said the mob gave Mr
Berlusconi the huge amount of capital he needed to build the complex,
by laundering dirty money through a series of front companies."
Daily Telegraph's report added that Berlusconi struck a financial deal
with Cosa Nostra one year before entering politics and becoming Prime
Minister. "The allegations were again aired in a maximum security
court in Turin in Dec 2009, by Gaspare Spatuzza, a mafia pentito, or
He also made the incendiary claim that Mr. Berlusconi had provided
support for a spate of deadly bombings by the mafia in 1993, in return
for political support."
According to Daily Telegraph, in 2004, a founding member of
Berlusconi's Forza Italia party named Marcello Dell'Utri was convicted
of complicity with mafia and condemned to 9 years in prison. Although
his imprisonment was later reduced to seven years, the court of appeal
verified the assertions that Mr. Dell'Utri arranged for mafia
protection for several companies run by Silvio Berlusconi.
However, cooperation with mafia and terrorist groups is a simple
instance of Berlusconi's scandals. His extensive record of false
accounting, tax fraud, corruption and bribery of police officers and
judges are almost known to everyone in Italy.
He was summoned to court hearings several times after the
Constitutional Court of Italy ruled in October 2009 that a law which
Berlusconi had pushed through parliament after coming to power giving
himself immunity from prosecution was invalid and unacceptable.
According to a report published by The Sunday Times on October 27,
2009, Berlusconi was accused of tax fraud and false accounting over
the acquisition of TV rights by Mediaset, the television company which
he owns, and should have attended a trial over the allegations which
were directed at him; however, he evaded the court hearings several
times, claiming that he was busy with "constitutional duties". As said
by The Sunday Times, Berlusconi had offered $600,000 in bribes to an
English tax layer named David Mills to give false testimony on his
behalf in corruption trials in the 1990s. Following the revelation of
this unprecedented debacle, David Mills was sentenced to 4 years and
six months in prison while Berlusconi survived imprisonment thanks to
the impunity law.
Berlusconi has declared himself "the most persecuted man in the
world". Who knows, maybe the more correct explanations could have been
"the most prosecuted man in the world!"
Lo and behold, Mr. Berlusconi who is turning into a man of scandals
was scolded last week as a number of Milan prosecutors submitted to
the Italian parliament a dossier containing statements, reports and
wiretap transcripts which depicted extravagantly sordid scenes of
Berlusconi's immoral affairs with Italian girls. The Economist
reported on January 20th that the documents gathered by the Italian
lawyers portrayed "orgiastic parties staged at the home of Italy's
prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, involving more than 20 half-naked
women, and a room for what are known to participants as "Bunga Bunga"
sessions, equipped for pole-dancing, with wardrobes full of skimpy
nurses' and policewomen's uniforms."
As the Italian parliament has recently abolished the law of immunity
for the Prime Minister, it can be expected that Silvio Berlusconi may
stand trial and be held responsible over his countless crimes and
Berlusconi who is known for his reckless and unfounded remarks about
the internal affairs of other countries is now at the verge of losing
his political, social and international credibility and his recent sex
scandal shows that he lacks the proper prestige and decency to assume
the office of a Prime Minister.
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