Alfano says he is 'indignant' over Berlusconi case
PdL founder to face trial on charges of bribing Senator24 October, 18:12
Alfano, who is also deputy premier, is secretary of the People of Freedom (PdL) party founded by ex-premier Berlusconi.
He spoke one day after a court in Naples sent Berlusconi to stand trial on charges of bribing a Senator to induce him to leave the centre-left government of Romano Prodi in 2008, contributing to its collapse.
That led to new elections that Berlusconi won.
"Berlusconi in our opinion, is a victim of judicial persecution (that has) lasted 20 years," Alfano said outside a meeting of European Union leaders.
Court rulings against Berlusconi are no surprise, said Alfano, "but we do not stop feeling indignant". The rulings will have no effect on the government, said Alfano, adding he spoke with Berlusconi Wednesday evening as well as Thursday.
The ex-premier's indictment Wednesday added to a series of legal woes for billionaire tycoon Berlusconi, the charismatic centre-right leader who is facing ejection from the Senate and one year of community service for tax fraud at his media group, his first binding conviction in 20 years of judicial battles.
The three-time premier is appealing two convictions by courts of first instance: one for paying for sex with an underage prostitute and abusing his office as premier to try to cover it up; and another for involvement in the publication of an illegal wiretap.
The PdL party leader says he has been targeted by politically motivated magistrates since he entered politics in 1994.