- 1 Background
- 2 Relationship to #Pizzagate
- 3 In Media
Silvio Berlusconi (born 29 September 1936) is an Italian media tycoon and politician who served as Prime Minister of Italy in four governments.
Berlusconi is the controlling shareholder of Mediaset and has owned the Italian football club A.C. Milan since 1986. He is nicknamed Il Cavaliere (The Knight) for his Order of Merit for Labour, although he voluntarily resigned from this order in March 2014. In 2016, Forbes magazine ranked him as the 188th richest man in the world with a net worth of US$7.1 billion. In 2009, Forbes ranked him 12th in the List of The World's Most Powerful People due to his domination in Italian politics.
Berlusconi was Prime Minister for nine years in total, making him the longest-serving post-war Prime Minister of Italy, and the third longest-serving since the Italian unification, after Benito Mussolini and Giovanni Giolitti. He was the leader of the centre-right party Forza Italia from 1994 to 2009, and its successor party The People of Freedom from 2009 to 2013. Since November 2013, he has led a revived Forza Italia. Berlusconi was the senior G8 leader from 2009 until 2011 and he currently holds the record of G8 Summit hosting (having hosted it in Italy three times).
After serving nearly 19 years as member of the Chamber of Deputies, Italy's lower house, after the 2013 general election he became a member of the Senate. On 1 August 2013, he was convicted of tax-fraud by the final appeal instance, Court of Cassation (of which three years are automatically pardoned) along with a public office ban for two years. As his age exceeded 70 years, he was exempted from direct imprisonment, and instead served his sentence by doing unpaid social community work. Because of being sentenced to a gross imprisonment for more than two years, a new Italian anticorruption law made the Senate expel and bar him from serving any legislative office for six years. Berlusconi has pledged to stay leader of Forza Italia throughout the period where he serves his imprisonment sentence and public office ban. Berlusconi is famous for his populist political style and brash, overbearing personality.
Separate Wikipedia Article: Silvio Berlusconi prostitute trial
Silvio Berlusconi, a former Prime Minister of Italy, was accused and convicted but on appeal found not guilty of paying 17-year old Moroccan prostitute Karima El Mahroug, also known by the stage name Ruby Rubacuori (Italian for "Ruby the Heartstealer") – for sexual services between February and May 2010 when she was under the age of 18. He was also convicted and on appeal found not guilty of abuse of office (Italian: concussione) by arranging to have El Mahroug released from police detention during an incident in which she was briefly held on claims of theft. On 24 June 2013, the Court of First Instance sentenced Berlusconi to seven years in prison, and banned him from public office for life. Berlusconi appealed the sentence, and on 18 July 2014, an appeals court overturned Berlusconi's conviction, thus making him once again eligible to hold elected office.
In January 2011, Berlusconi was placed under criminal investigation relating to El Mahroug for allegedly having sex with an underage prostitute and for abuse of office relating to her release from detention. Berlusconi's lawyers were quick to deny the allegations as "absurd and without foundation" and called the investigation a "serious interference with the private life of the prime minister without precedent in the judicial history of the country".
The Telegraph reported on 6 March 2011 that prosecutors were days from requesting charges against Emilio Fede, a television anchorman, and Lele Mora, a well-known celebrity agent, for procuring underage girls in a "vast pimping network" to attend "bunga bunga" sex parties with the prime minister. According to the prosecutors' dossier, Fede 'discovered' El Mahroug when acting as a judge at a beauty pageant in Sicily in September 2009, and passed her on to Mora's office in central Milan, which served as a "form of 'clearing centre' for women eager to enter the prime minister's circle in pursuit of money, gifts and help with their show business careers".
While the investigators claim to have evidence from lawful interception of mobile phone conversations, Berlusconi denied the allegations through his lawyers, who called the investigation absurd and without foundation.
Vote by parliamentarian majority took place on 5 April 2011, in order to assert ministeriality, but it was reversed later by Constitutional Court.
Additional Relevant Facts
Bunga Bunga 
Relationship to #Pizzagate
Connection to the Clinton Foundation
Connection to Hillary Clinton
Connection to Flavio Briatore
From the New York Post article, How an underage belly dancer brought down Silvio Berlusconi, by Michael Day, published on July 19, 2015:
In April 2011, three months after his indictments for Rubygate, two loyal friends were recorded discussing the prime minister’s psychological state — and his fitness for running the country. Flavio Briatore, the Formula One racing tycoon, was on the phone with Berlusconi ultra-loyalist Daniela Santanchè. Briatore told her that Lele Mora had just informed him the prime minister’s bunga bunga nights were still going strong. Briatore: Yes, yes, everything’s going on as if nothing has happened; everything as it was before. Santanchè: But that’s madness. Briatore: Not there — but in the other villa. He’s not changed a f – – king thing. But the pathetic figure he cut wasn’t the only thing weighing on his friends’ minds. Briatore, a conservative businessman, saw a country going to the dogs.
Additionally, from Time Magazine article, Silvio Berlusconi Convicted of Having Sex With Underage Prostitute. But Will He Go to Jail?, by Alessandro Speciale, published on June 24, 2013:
In 2012, after his latest government was forced out for its inability to deal with Italy’s debt crisis, Berlusconi had apparently retired from public life. He spent several reclusive months away as his party collapsed over internal squabbles and enjoyed a vacation at the Kenyan resort of Flavio Briatore, a friend and debonair businessman.
Connection to George Clooney
From the Daily Beast article, Is George Clooney into Silvio Berlusconi's Bunga-Bunga Parties?, by Barbie Latza Nadeau, published on March 29th, 2011:
Is George Clooney into bunga-bunga? Apparently so, according to the Moroccan belly-dancer at the center of a sex scandal involving Italy’s 74-year-old Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Last fall, during an investigation into underage prostitution, then-17-year-old Karima El Mahroug otherwise known as Ruby the Heart Stealer, told investigators in Milan that Clooney and his Italian girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis were attendees at one of the prime minister’s famous bunga-bunga bashes at his Villa Arcore last year.
- 2009 documentary, Videocracy, by Erik Gandini