The Italian scientific community was stunned when Italian scientists, seismologists, were recently sentenced to years of prison for manslaughter, for failing to predict the lethal earthquake in Aquila in 2009. Other scientists have resigned to their jobs in protest, and even some relatives of the victims condemned the sentence as ridiculous. The world press was reporting on the dark ages of inquisition in Italian courts and labs. But then, journalistic investigations discovered political scandals that implied a plot to downplay earthquake dangers in Aquila, involving Berlusconi and his cabinet. Silvio Berlusconi can’t control earthquakes any more than seismologists can, but he’s always been keen on controlling media.
It came as a huge relief to many Italians when, on Friday, a brave court of Milan managed to sentence Berlusconi for his tax frauds. He is condemned to 4 years of prison, but of course he will appeal, stall, and agitate demogogically. Nobody is expecting this potentate to serve time in an Italian prison. It is still a significant moral victory for the brave judges, fighting for years on end to legally prove what was already obvious to everybody. More