On the eve of one of Italy’s most sensational trials involving the prime minister and a nightclub dancer, Silvio Berlusconi received a welcome boost from parliament.
The scandal prone leader managed to rally his flimsy majority and win a vote.
It concerned moving the hearing to a special ministerial tribunal. Although the result is not binding on the Milan judges who will open the so-called Rubygate case today, it could change things later.
Meanwhile opponents of the tycoon who accuse him of manipulating the legal system held a “ Night for Democracy” rally in central Rome.
“We thought it was important to show that the citizens reject any abuse made inside the parliament which is still being used to solve the problems of a single person, that of Silvio Berlusconi, while in Italy there are many problems left unsolved,” said Gianfranco Mascia of the non-partisan group “Purple People”.
Berlusconi is accused of paying an underage night club dancer for sex and abusing his office to get her off an unrelated theft charge. Berlusconi denies both.