Italy’s former premier Silvio Berlusconi is facing yet another trial, this time over accusations he paid aspiring showgirls to lie in court during his sex-for-hire trial.
A court in Milan indicted Berlusconi on Monday for judicial corruption, along with four young women who allegedly accepted the bribes, and set a trial date for 9 May.
It is the second trial against the media mogul which stemmed from the case in which he was accused, and later acquitted, of paying an underage Moroccan teenager for sex.
The 81-year-old’s political career was thought to be over when he left power amid national disgrace and a sovereign debt crisis in 2011.
However, Mr Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party is set to play a key role in negotiating a new government following the inconclusive 4 March elections.
The party is allied with Matteo Salvini’s League (formerly the Northern League), a right-wing party that has renounced his secessionist pledge of the past to remodel itself as an anti-immigrant, Eurosceptic party.
It is also allied with the neo-fascist Brother of Italy party, led by Giorgia Meloni, which includes the granddaughter of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
Mr Berlusconi recently said: “I have fought back against all the nastiness, all the attacks, all the lies that were thrown at me, from the Bunga Bunga to the minors and all the rest.”
He was Italy’s longest-serving post-war premier but cannot stand for office again due to a 2013 tax fraud conviction.