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Berlusconi to face trial over sex scandal(译:贝卢斯科尼性丑闻缠身 将出庭受审 )--中英对照

An Italian judge has ordered Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to stand trial in April on charges of paying an underage girl for sex and abuse of office, although there seemed no immediate risk the scandal would force him out.

Following weeks of scandal that have shaken his struggling center-right government, trial was set on Tuesday to start in a criminal court in Milan on April 6, according to a statement from the office of the city's chief judge.

Berlusconi is not obliged to appear in person before the panel of three judges on that day, nor is there any legal obstacle to his continuing to hold office throughout any trial proceedings, which could take years before any conviction.

Throughout several other legal cases, the 74-year-old premier has kept the loyalty of lieutenants in his own party, which he set up after making his fortune in business. There has been no open push from his own allies for him to stand down.

"We did not expect anything different," Piero Longo, one of Berlusconi's lawyers who sits in parliament for the ruling PDL party, told reporters after the decision was announced.

Yet the decision is perhaps the most serious political blow so far to Berlusconi, who has faced mounting public criticism as he tries to shore up a precarious majority in parliament.

A survey this week in the left-leaning La Repubblica newspaper showed that almost 50 percent of Italians believe the accusations against him are true, although as many believe that even if he is guilty, he will not be punished.

"He should resign because this situation has become unbearable," said Pierluigi Bersani, head of the opposition Democratic Party.

But Justice Minister Angelino Alfano retorted: "What happened to someone being presumed innocent?"

一位意大利法官要求总理西尔维奥?贝卢斯科尼四月份出庭接受审讯,他被指控与未成年少女进行性交易以及滥用职权。但是目前看起来这则丑闻还不会很快将贝卢斯科尼赶下台。

在过去几周中,该丑闻已经使正在艰难挣扎的中右联盟政府摇摇欲坠了。而一份来自于米兰市审判长办公室的声明则无异于雪上加霜。该声明称,法院周二已做出裁决,将于4月6日在米兰的一个刑事法庭中启动审判。

法院并不强行要求贝卢斯科尼4月6日亲自出庭,接受由三位法官组成的陪审团的审讯。而且在审判程序进行过程中,不会有任何阻止贝卢斯科尼继续担任总理的法律障碍。从启动审判到做出最终判决可能需要几年的时间。

在之前的其他几宗法律案件中,贝卢斯科尼的党内官员都显示了对这位74岁总理的忠诚。贝卢斯科尼做生意发财后就组建了自己的政党,现在并没有来自该政党的公开要求贝卢斯科尼下台的呼声。

在该裁决宣布之后,贝卢斯科尼的律师之一、人民自由党成员、议员皮耶罗?隆戈告诉记者说:“这在我们意料之中。”

但是这个裁决可能是迄今为止在政治上对贝卢斯科尼最大的打击,近年来贝卢斯科尼试图在议会巩固自己摇摇欲坠的政党力量的同时招来了公众愈演愈烈的批评声。

左倾的《意大利共和报》本周进行的一项调查显示,近50%的意大利人相信对贝卢斯科尼的指控是确有其事。但是也有50%的人认为即使贝卢斯科尼有罪,他也不会受到什么惩罚。

反对党派民主党领导人皮耶路易吉?贝尔萨尼说:“他应该下台,因为形势已经变得难以控制了。”

但是司法部部长安杰利诺?阿尔法诺反驳说:“那样的话人们会问:那个自以为无罪的人怎么了?”

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