Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Silvio Berlusconi and the real estate business

Monday, October 22, 2012. Gets public the news that a Silvio Berlusconi-owned real estate agent bought an apartment from the Neapolitan singer Mariano Apicella, a favourable witness in the Ruby-trial.

Silvio Berlusconi, Mariano Apicella, Bruno Vespa, on a TV show
Apicella, Berlusconi - always willing to help a friend out -, Vespa
Mariano Apicella is a Neapolitan singer, “personal minstrel" of Silvio Berlusconi - together* they also published a music album, dubbed “Amore Vero” (“True Love”) in November 2011 - and he is a regular guest to the bunga-bunga parties (note: rumours spread that bung-bunga has been renamed squit-squit, but this is another story) at the former Italian PM mansion.

During the hearings of the so-called Ruby-trial (you know, Silvio is accused of having paid for sex with an under-age nightclub dancer, Karima El Mahroug, aka Ruby the Heartbreaker), Apicella testified – he is giving a favourable testimony in the proceedings against Berlusconi – that he had never witnessed any kind of “grope” during the Arcore's Villa San Martino's hedonistic evenings, and he never saw the former Prime Minister “lay his hands on female guests”.

Now, it has come to light (i.e. Mr Apicella told the story to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera) that in June 2011 – the sex trial was already under way, Berlusconi had been indicted a few months before, the list of witnesses was disclosed in April 2011 – a real estate agent called “Dueville” bought an unpretentious apartment in the district Cecchina, in the small town of Albano Laziale from Mariano Apicella, at the price of €280,000 (£226,000). The owner of Dueville Immobiliare is Berlusconi's Dolcedrago (40 per cent) and two other companies linked to Berlusconi's Fininvest (60 per cent).

The Parthenopean minstrel said that Silvio Berlusconi was a person who deals with loads of money and who, open-handedly, wanted to “help me out.” And asked: “Is it forbidden to do a favour for a friend?".

The straightforward answer might be “no”, it is not forbidden to do any lawful favour to friends, but in case of witnesses in a criminal trial, well... the interpretation could be slightly different.

* Silvio Berlusconi is a fervent lyrics writer, he is also co-author with Mariarosaria Rossi of the People of Freedom new anthem, "People of Freedom"