Berlusconi may go to European court
An ally of Silvio Berlusconi has raised the possibility that the Italian government could appeal before Europe's human rights court, alleging that a prostitution probe targeting the premier is a violation of his privacy.
Italian prosecutors want to put Mr Berlusconi on trial on charges he had sex with a 17-year-old and tried to cover it up by using his power.
Mr Berlusconi has dismissed the allegations as a smear campaign.
Franco Frattini, foreign minister and close Berlusconi ally, said that on the privacy-violation issue "there is rich jurisprudence" at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, according to LaPresse news agency.
He reportedly said: "The privacy violation is a theme that can be brought forward not just in Italy but before the Strasbourg court."
Mr Berlusconi continued his denunciation of the probe, describing it as a campaign by prosecutors and a broader "anti-Berlusconi lobby".
In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Foglio, Mr Berlusconi decried the investigations as "farcical", and "worthy of a spy hunt" that used to be conducted in Communist East Germany.
The premier said in the eyes of his political party, Freedom People, the judicial moves against him were tantamount to "political subversion".