Rome

One third of Italians think Berlusconi is persecuted

Many centre-right voters believe leader targeted by magistrates

One third of Italians think Berlusconi is persecuted

Rome, March 15 - Some 37% of Italians believe the legal problems of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi are the result of judicial persecution according to the results of an SWG poll released Friday. This figure rises to 92% among centre-right supporters, the same source said. The survey comes just five days after a demonstration by members of Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party demonstrated outside a Milan courthouse, sending shockwaves across Italy's political scene. The media magnate is implicated in various cases including an appeal against a four-year conviction for tax fraud in the purchase of broadcasting rights by his Mediaset group and a first-instance trial on charges of paying for sex with an underage prostitute. Earlier this week he also received an order for immediate judgment in Naples due to allegations related to graft.

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