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Berlusconi returns for Senate vote

Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 - 00:55

March 16 - Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is recovering from an eye ailment, sports sunglasses as he arrives for Senate vote. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Large crowds lined up the street outside the Italian Senate on Saturday as senators inside voted for a new speaker of the upper house. The crowds broke into jeers and chanted "buffoon" as former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi arrived at the Senate in the early evening. Earlier on Saturday, judges ruled that a hearing in the tax fraud trial related to Berlusconi's Mediaset broadcasting empire could be delayed until March 23 due to the eye problems that kept the 76-year-old media magnate in hospital all week. Berlusconi sported sunglasses as he arrived at the Senate, surrounded by security. Berlusconi faces a long string of legal battles over the next few weeks, starting with the trial in which he is accused of paying for sex with former nightclub dancer Karima El Mahroug, better known under her stage name "Ruby", when she was a minor. He denies the charge and El Mahroug also denies ever having sex with him. Berlusconi's eye problem prompted him to cancel a number of public engagements and to ask for a further delay to the prostitution trial. Berlusconi, who was applauded by Senators of his People of Freedom (PDL) party as he cast his vote inside the Senate, is also being investigated by Naples magistrates on suspicion of bribing a senator to change sides in 2006 to help bring down the last center-left government led by Romano Prodi by sabotaging its wafer-thin parliamentary majority.

Berlusconi returns for Senate vote

Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 - 00:55

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