STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
Here's NPR's Sylvia Poggioli.
SYLVIA POGGIOLI: Prosecutors also suspect Berlusconi abused his powers to spring her from police custody when she was detained for theft. Berlusconi has branded the probe a subversive plot aimed at toppling him from power. In a televised address Sunday, he appeared extremely tense.
SILVIO BERLUSCONI: (Through translator) The charges against me are totally unfounded, actually laughable. The police officer denies I put pressure on him, and the minor denies she had sex with me and asserts she presented herself as a 24-year-old.
POGGIOLI: Here's an actress reading conversations about hush money that Ruby Heartthrob had with friends.
INSKEEP: (Through translator) My case scares everyone. It's worse than all the others. I told Silvio I want five million euros to compensate for my name being dragged in the mud. Silvio said: Ruby, I'll cover you in gold. The important thing is that you hide everything. Make it look like you're crazy.
POGGIOLI: The enraged leader of the opposition Democratic Party, Pier Luigi Bersani, said Berlusconi is not above the law and must step down.
PIER LUIGI BERSANI: Sylvia Poggioli, NPR News, Rome.
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