Coffee House

Think Britain’s tabloid journalists are bad? Try Italy’s tabloid judges

19 July 2014

2:06 PM

19 July 2014

2:06 PM

There is a small light at the end of the tunnel but it comes too late, I fear, to save Italy from the abyss:  Silvio Berlusconi was yesterday acquitted on appeal of committing Bunga Bunga with Ruby the Heart-Stealer when she was sweet 17 for which he had been sentenced to seven years in prison. Che bello!

Yet if ever a reason were needed for Britain to have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with European courts of any kind, and the European Arrest Warrant in particular, we need look no further than the Berlusconi Bunga Bunga trial.

If it could happen to him, a media tycoon and four times Italian Prime Minister, it could happen to you. We are all guilty of something – if need be – as the 20-year-long judicial jihad waged by the Italian magistratura against Berlusconi demonstrates so clearly.

Let us be frank: the European Arrest Warrant gives a judicial system such as Italy’s the power to come and get you in Britain and bang you up in an Italian jail, for up to a year, on suspicion that you committed a crime while it tries to find sufficient evidence to charge you.

This is totally at odds with the British way of doing justice. In Britain, a suspect can be held in custody for a maximum of 96 hours without charge – or in the special case of a terrorist suspect 28 days.

It gets worse, of course. For how could it not when Italians are involved? Once put under investigation in a place like Italy you enter, like Josef K. in Franz Kafka’s The Trial, a life-destroying and tortuously slow judicial system where the process regularly takes 10 years to conclude. Worse still, Italian courts pay only lip service to the sacred ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ principle and invariably convict on the basis of ‘he must have done it’ and sod the evidence. Either way, whether pronounced guilty or innocent, the suspect emerges at the end of the process a ruined man.


Miraculously, Berlusconi has won his appeal against conviction in the Bunga Bunga trial but justice has come too late to save either his shattered reputation or, in all probability, his political career. And let us not forget: in Italy, the prosecution can still appeal against the appeal!

The Bunga Bunga business made Berlusconi an international laughing stock, forced his resignation as Italian Premier in November 2011, and led to him being sentenced in June 2013 to seven years in prison for under-age prostitution and abuse of office.

Since his resignation, Italy has had three un-elected Prime Ministers and things have just gone from bad to worse.

Now that he has been acquitted, who will pay for the stratospheric damage done by this ludicrous trial, not just to the reputation of Berlusconi who in the 2008 elections had secured the biggest majority of any post-war Italian Prime Minister, but to the Italian economy? No one, of course.

In Britain, people whine on with some justification about intrusive tabloid journalists. But Britain’s tabloid boys are mere pussycats compared to Italy’s tabloid judges who – like Robespierre and his revolutionary courts – are politically motivated and possess terrifying powers that they use in an arbitrary way for political ends.

They do not limit themselves to hacking text messages. They hack the phone calls themselves, of all and sundry, at industrial levels and, if it serves their purpose, which in Berlusconi’s case it always did, they leak the transcripts of those phone calls to the media which then publish them verbatim – well before even formal charges are laid let alone a trial has begun. Such grotesque contempt of court happens on a daily basis in Italy but no Italian judge or journalist ever gets prosecuted and no one bats an eyelid.

The Bunga Bunga trial would never have happened in a normal country – not even in a Britain gripped as it is by medieval mass paedomania.

Let me try to explain why. At the time of the alleged offences in 2010 Berlusconi was 73 and a prostate cancer survivor. Ok, so let us assume that with Viagra and all the rest of it, he could still get it up.

Where was the evidence that he did in fact get it up with Ruby? Well – here’s the funny thing – there was none. Both he and she  – the alleged victim – denied sex and there were no witnesses to them having sex. So, no sex, no crime, no?

As for the abuse of office charge, this was based on a phone call Berlusconi made to a police station in Milan one night after Ruby had been arrested for suspected theft and she had phoned him for help. He had duly obliged. None of the police officers he spoke to on the phone that night felt that he had abused his office to force their hand in any way. In other words, he had simply behaved as any gentleman would to help a damsel in distress.

Yet, thanks to that phone call (for which he got six years in jail) and the presence of Ruby the Heart-Stealer on a couple of occasions at his Milan home during his regular parties (for which he got one year) the phrase Bunga Bunga went viral and he was tried and convicted for being a paedophile whore-monger.

All thanks to Italy’s tabloid judges and their friends in the media – the very same media that insists that as a result of media tycoon Berlusconi there is no media freedom in Italy.

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Show comments
  • Van Cauter

    If dear Silvio couldn’t participate in elections, it was due to another – final – judgment regarding fraud. If you think Italian judges were after him, don’t forget the laws that he passed to secure his personal impunity. Berlusconi was (is) a shame to Italy.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “Ruby the Heart-Stealer when she was sweet 17”
    So what age is it legal in Italy? 21, 25, 30? Another country to avoid at all costs.

    • HarryOfO

      The age of consent is 14, actually. It’s prostitution that is illegal under 18, and it’s for alleged underage prostitution (as well as for the much more serious charge of abuse of office) that Silvio got into trouble.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Growing old disgracefully.

  • Fiona Law

    After reading this article, I feel an urgent need to disinfect myself. What a load of rubbish – take it from someone who lived in Italy for almost 25 years: you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

  • Bonkim

    No need to defend Berlusconi – but yes justice systems in many countries are questionable – and Italy is a joke.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    What’s happened to Mr Murray’s article above? It’s gone…

  • cambridgeelephant

    How can anyone persecute poor Silvo for a bit of innocent Bunga-Bunga ?

    One look at Ruby and I certainly would.

    Silvio is innocent.

    • Span Ows

      Yep, I must admit popping in to this article as I cannot now access the one above (Douglas Murray Palestinian march)…hoping to see a photo or two of the very nice young lady.

  • anyfool

    The gutless politicians and the equally useless media in this country will do nothing about the EAW until some very good looking woman or one of their kind become the victim of one of these stitch ups.
    Do not forget other magistrates around Europe can do this kind of thing, lets hope it is one of the politicians brats that get done, heaven help you if it is one of yours.

    If I was Nigel Farage or for that matter anyone in UKIP I would watch what I am doing, you can bet some minion of the EU gestapo have him in their sights.

  • Smithersjones2013

    That Farrell has to scrape the excrement of that tinpot vino republic Italy out of the bottom of the toilet as an example of something that is worse than our media demonstrates perfectly how bad our media is!

    That they have largely ignored the EAW issue demonstrates their unworthiness

  • dado_trunking

    Don’t look at our economy – look at that of Greece – it’s far worse there.
    Don’t look at out football – look at that in Scotland – it’s far worse there.
    Don’t look at our banks – look a the US – it’s far worse there.
    Don’t look at our striking teachers – look at France – it’s far worse there.
    Don’t look at our red tops – look at Italy – it’s far worse there.

    Don’t you dare look at Scandinavia/Germany/Netherlands etc – commonly known as the Northern Alliance – we cannot think of anything worse there.

    • Dougie

      Scandinavia is pretty good but then Norway stayed out of the EU and Sweden had the sense to stay out of the Euro. Taxes are pretty high though. Denmark is actually quite racially intolerant, dislike of immigrants is at least as strong as in the UK. Just back from two weeks in Germany. Yup, it’s pretty good there but after precipitately shutting their nuclear power stations they have zilch energy security and are dependent on the goodwill of that nice Mr Putin.
      The grass is always greener …

      • Smithersjones2013

        And their crime dramas are designed to commit suicide by they are that depressing!

    • Makroon

      Yeah, but give Labour another 13 years, and then see what state our judicial/civil systems are in.

      • Smithersjones2013

        We haven’t got to the bottom of the child abuse ring scandal yet. It may not need another 13 years of Labour……..

        • Span Ows

          …unfortunate turn of phrase!

    • anyfool

      Don’t dare look at your Labour Party, nowhere else to compare with those crooked incompetents.
      Don’t dare look at the Tory Party, nowhere else to compare with those competent crooks.
      Do dare to look at the Lib Dems, a mixed mirror image of the above two scavenging mangy curs.

    • Damon

      Unemployment, latest data:
      Denmark – 4%
      Germany – 5.1%
      Britain – 6.5%
      Sweden – 8%
      Netherlands – 8.4%

      Annualized economic (GDP) growth rate, latest data:
      Britain – 3%
      Germany – 2.5%
      Denmark – 1.45%
      Netherlands – zero


      • dado_trunking

        Look mate, no one believes these figures express anything truthful. Not even Fraser – he now quotes people-in-work stats and hints at the fact that London only inflated their asset values to keep affloat.

        RPI hyperinflation ≠ growth
        get yourself an economist to explain that to you.

        • Damon

          So, Britain has RPI “hyperinflation”, does it? Well, if you say so.