Rome

Grillo invites Berlusconi to become a fugitive

Ex-premier will recover from eye problem, Italy from 'orchitis'

Grillo invites Berlusconi to become a fugitive

(see related story) Rome, March 12 - Beppe Grillo, the leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, on Tuesday invited Silvio Berlusconi to become a fugitive of justice, saying this would be better for the health of Italy and the ex-premier. Berlusconi, who is currently in hospital with an eye problem, recently said he feared magistrates wanted him to meet the same fate as another former premier, Bettino Craxi, who died in Tunisia in 2000 after fleeing the country following corruption scandals. Berlusconi is on trial in Milan for allegedly paying for sex with an underage prostitute called Ruby and he has been given two separate prison sentences in recent months for fraud at his Mediaset empire and involvement in the publication of an illegally obtained wiretap. Naples prosecutors have also requested the 76-year-old media magnate be indicted for allegedly bribing a Senator to change political colours and help bring down Roman Prodi's 2006-2008 centre-left government. "Berlusconi is scared of ending up like Craxi, but in reality it would be lucky for him," Grillo, whose movement holds the balance of power in parliament after a spectacular showing in last month's general election, said on his blog. "He could escape to Tunisian beaches full of Rubies without having the daily ball-breaking of the magistrates. "He should let himself get arrested as soon as possible without any extenuating circumstances and take flight before the arrest. "He will gain in health terms. He will heal from his uveitis (an irritation and swelling of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye) and the Italians will finally heal from the orchitis that he has inflicted on them for 20 years". Orchitis is an inflammation of the testicles.

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