Rome

Judges union warns against political reaction to decisions

Berlusconi's PdL calls for protest Saturday against magistrates

Judges union warns against political reaction to decisions

Rome, May 9 - Italy's National Magistrates Association on Friday said that political reactions to "single judicial decisions" are constituting a "dangerous delegitimization of the role of the judiciary in our democracy". On Wednesday, ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's four-year sentence and ban from public office for five years was upheld by a Milan appeals court, sparking outrage by members of his People of Freedom (Pdl) party. PdL House Whip Renato Brunetta called the ruling "a disgusting outrage" motivated by politics. Berlusconi, who heads the center-right PdL party which is currently in government together with rival center-left Democratic Party (PD), has been involved in a series of high-profile legal cases in recent years, many of which saw new developments in the past few weeks. On Thursday, Naples prosecutors requested his indictment over bribe allegations. He is also on trial in Milan over accusations he paid for sex with an underage Moroccan dancer. He denies any wrongdoing and says this week's developments are part of a campaign by left-wing magistrates who are persecuting him for political reasons. These comments were mirrored by senior PdL lawmaker Fabrizio Cicchitto, who on Thursday said this week's Milan and Naples decisions had political, as well as judicial, bias. The center-right PdL has called for a demonstration in Brescia on Saturday in support of Berlusconi and against the judicial system that they allege is persecuting him.

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