Under-fire Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has come out fighting after the country’s Constitutional Court threw out a law that gave him immunity from prosecution while in office.
The 73-year-old, already quagmired in a lurid sex scandal in which he is accused of using the services of prostitutes, now faces a series of cases against his business interests. Berlusconi rounded on his attackers, describing the legal moves against him as “laughable” and “absurd.” The former cruise boat singer has long claimed that he is the victim of a plot by left-wing judges and prosecutors. A rift has now opened up between the prime minister and the President Giorgio Napolitano, who is considered the guardian of the constitution. So what now for Silvio? James Walston is professor and chair of international relations at the American University of Rome. He said: “Berlusconi is very clearly coming to the end of his line as a political leader. This is partly because of his age, partly because of the sex scandals of the last few months. And this final verdict from the Constitutional Court is certainly not the end, but it is another nail in the coffin.” The Constitutional Court ruled that the immunity bill violated the principal that all people are equal before the law.