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Berlusconi Lashes Out After Immunity Ruling


NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports from Rome.

SYLVIA POGGIOLI: The nine-to-six ruling rejected the Berlusconi legal team's claim that the prime minister is above the law, at least while in office. A visibly furious Berlusconi lashed out at those he claims have been waging a witch hunt against him


SILVIO BERLUSCONI: (Italian spoken)

POGGIOLI: The statement enraged the opposition MP Rosy Bindi, a woman unlike the young women Berlusconi is often seen with.

BERLUSCONI: (Italian spoken)

POGGIOLI: The center-left opposition is bracing for a period of political turmoil. But Dario Franceschini, leader of the Democratic Party, hailed the ruling as a sign that Italian democracy can resist what he called the prime minister's abuse of power.

DARIO FRANCESCHINI: (Through translator) The constitutional court has re-established the principle of equality of all citizens before the law. We are all equal, even the powerful ones.


POGGIOLI: Sylvia Poggioli, NPR News, Rome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.