MILAN — A Milan court on Monday rejected a bid by former Premier Silvio Berlusconi to halt his sex-for-hire trial for Italy’s general election campaign, a ruling that makes a verdict likely before the February vote.
Berlusconi’s lawyer accused the court of “interfering heavily” in the Italian political campaign by refusing to suspend the trial so Berlusconi can dedicate himself to campaigning for his center-right coalition.
“A verdict will most certainly come before the election. It seems to me this is the clear intent of the court,” defense lawyer Niccolo Ghedini told reporters. “It doesn’t bother us, but it should bother citizens since it is obvious that it will impact the electoral campaign.”
Berlusconi denounced the trial as “a comedy, a farce, a defamatory hoax,” in an interview with Sky TG24.