Berlusconi labels judges as feminist

Berlusconi labels judges as feminist

ROME - The Associated Press
Milan court officials defended the impartiality of their judges yesterday after ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi blamed “feminist, communist” magistrates for what he said was a 200,000 euros a day divorce settlement.

Berlusconi made the accusation in an interview Jan. 8 with the La7 private television network ahead of Italy’s Feb. 24-25 elections.

Italian media initially reported that Berlusconi’s divorce from his second wife Veronica Lario would cost him 36 million euros a year. That figure amounts to 3 million euros a month, or about 100,000 euros a day. But Berlusconi said the figure, with arrears, was double that. He said he was ordered to pay Lario 36 million euros a year, with another 72 million euros in arrears.

“These are three women judges, feminists and communists, OK?” he said. “These are the Milan judges who have persecuted me since 1994.” In a joint statement yesterday carried by the ANSA news agency, the president of the Milan tribunal and the head of the appeals court “strongly rejected any insinuation of partiality” of the tribunal’s judges, whom they described as “diligent professionals.”

The statement noted that both sides in the divorce have the right to appeal the decision. Lario filed for divorce in 2009, citing Berlusconi’s fondness for younger women.