Italy’s Berlusconi questioned in prostitution probe

People of Freedom (PDL) party member and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wipes his forehead as he attends the Upper house of the parliament in Rome, April 30, 2013. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito
People of Freedom (PDL) party member and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wipes his forehead as he attends the Upper house of the parliament in Rome, April 30, 2013. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito

Italian center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi was questioned by Rome prosecutors for three hours on Tuesday over allegations the former prime minister paid 750,000 euros to buy the silence of people aware that he used prostitutes.

The interrogation centered on a case in which the 76-year-old media tycoon is believed to have been the victim of extortion by three former associates, sources at the prosecutors office said.

One of these associates, businessman Gianpaolo Tarantini, is accused of providing prostitutes for parties at Berlusconi’s private villa outside Milan.

Berlusconi is also accused by prosecutors in the southern city of Bari of “inducement to give false testimony,” by paying the money to Tarantini, Tarantini’s wife, and a former political associate, Walter Lavitola.

Berlusconi, whose People of Freedom party is vital to the survival of the left-right coalition government of Prime Minister Enrico Letta, has seen his many legal difficulties mount in recent weeks.

On Monday, prosecutors in Milan called for him to serve six years in jail on charges of abuse of office and paying for sex with a minor, and last week he lost an appeal against a four year sentence for tax fraud.

The verdict in the Milan sex case is expected next month, while Berlusconi has launched a second and final appeal against the tax fraud conviction. He will serve no time in jail until the appeals process, which can last for years, is exhausted.

Berlusconi denies any wrongdoing in all the cases against him.

(writing by Gavin Jones; editing by Giles Elgood)


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to “Orphan Black” Season 2! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany, while avoiding the…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.