Italian prosecutors say 33 women involved in PM Berlusconi’s prostitution case
MILAN, ITALY (BNO NEWS) — Italian prosecutors on Tuesday said that 33 young women were involved in the probe on the prostitution case against Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the ANSA news agency reported.
The recently finished investigation determined that 33 women engaged in prostitution at the parties held by the Italian Premier. The Milan prosecutors added that one of them was a minor, the infamous Karima El Mahroug, a Moroccan belly dancer known as Ruby.
As revealed by the probe, Ruby was first paid for sex in September 2009. She was only 16 years old at that time. This date is five months earlier than the previously thought date of February 2010.
The investigation targeted three individuals for aiding and abetting prostitution. The three are Berlusconi’s former dental hygienist, ex-showgirl and now Lombardy regional councilor Nicole Minetti; a close personal friend and veteran news anchor at one of Berlusconi’s TV channels, Emilio Fede; and a showbiz talent scout and businessman, Lele Mora.
The three individuals are accused of finding young women for Berlusconi’s parties. The Premier was not included in the probe as prosecutors asked for a fast track trial for him which will begin on April 6 in Milan.
Berlusconi is facing four trials, three for corruption and one for prostitution. The PM has denied all allegations and vowed to stay in office until the end of his term in 2013. Opposition parties have demanded the dismissal of Berlusconi due to the scandals.
The current PM added that the Milan prosecutors are trying to oust him from office but they claim to have ample evidence from wiretaps to prove young women who attended Berlusconi’s famous ‘bunga bunga’ parties were prostitutes.
If convicted, Berlusconi could face up to 15 years in prison. Using a sex worker under the age of 18 carries a jail term of up to three years, while abuse of office carries a term ranging from six to 12 years.
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