Rome

Ex-minister says Berlusconi, PdL are 'defamed', not judges

Gelmini reacts to explanation of ruling not to move two trials

Ex-minister says Berlusconi, PdL are 'defamed', not judges

(see related stories on Berlusconi) Rome, May 23 - Former education minister Mariastella Gelmini said ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi and his People of Freedom (PdL) party were being ''defamed" and "persecuted" not Italy's judges. The senior PdL figure was reacting to the explanation of the supreme Court of Cassation's refusal to have two trials involving him moved from Milan. The Cassation said the petition for a move on alleged grounds of judicial prejudice agaunst Berlusconi was based on ''defamatory accusations''. ''The only ones being covered in mud and persecuted are those of us in the PdL, together with president Berlusconi'', Gelmini said, describing the Cassation's explanation as "absurd".

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