Hollywood star George Clooney failed to appear Friday to give evidence in the trial of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on sex charges, leading the prosecutor to accuse the defence of seeking to slow down the proceedings.
Clooney and his former fiancee Elisabetta Canalis have been named as defence witnesses and Clooney was due to testify Friday but did not appear.
“Like that, the trial suffers moments of blockage,” said prosecutor Ilda Boccassini, nicknamed Ilda the Red for the colour of her hair and her supposed political beliefs.
She said the defence had not contacted Canalis, a showgirl who lives in the United States, in time.
As for Clooney: “does it seem possible to you that you can establish contact with the American actor in less than a week?” she asked the defence.
One of Berlusconi’s defence team Niccolo Ghedini said there had been no attempt at obstruction.
“There are already 10 or 11 witnesses today,” he said.
“This trial is moving ahead particularly rapidly at the rate of a hearing a week,” he said.
Ghedini said he wanted to work in the “fairest and most transparent manner possible” in respect of the court.
Berlusconi is accused of having sex for money with Moroccan exotic dancer Karima El-Mahroug, better known as “Ruby the Heart Stealer”, when she was 17.
He is also charged with abusing his position as prime minister by telling police to release her when she was arrested for petty theft in May 2010.