London: Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has admitted that he “sometimes is a sinner”, but also accused opponents of using Soviet-style spying to oust him in a political coup.
Berlusconi, 74, said during an interview with Il Foglio, an influential opinion daily, that prosecutors staged a “show trial” ahead of a judge’s decision next week.
Prosecutors have accused him of paying for sex with a nightclub dancer when she was under 18 and using his authority to pressure police into releasing her from custody over separate theft allegations.
“I, sometimes, like everyone, am a sinner but the type of moralistic justice being waged against me is... simply scandalous,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying in the interview.
Describing magistrates as politically motivated, Berlusconi said their investigation was “farcical and worthy of the espionage hunting expeditions on other people’s lives that were carried out in communist Germany”.
He said he was the target of those who wanted to carry out a political “coup by moralists”.