Silvio Berlusconi – former Prime Minister of Italy – is on trial for allegedly having sex with Karima el Mahroug (nicknamed “Ruby the Heart-stealer), a prostitute who prosecutors say was underage during the supposed 13 times she and Berlusconi had sex. In addition, prosecutors argue that the former prime minister abused his power to get her out of jail when she was held on suspicion of theft.
Berlusconi and El Mahroug insist that, contrary to the government’s allegations, El Mahroug never had sex with Berlusconi and that she lied to him about her age, telling him she was 24.
Imane Fadil, in attendance at one of Berlusconi’s “bunga bunga” parties, testified that women danced in their underwear at the parties and that, despite the fact that Fadil wanted to leave the party, Berlusconi persuaded her to stay by showing her around his villa and giving her gifts.
Fadil also testified that the former prime minister had promised her a job at one of his television stations, but it never materialized.
Berlusconi acknowledged that he paid some of the trial witnesses but insisted that there was nothing improper about the payments. He said he had given the money to people who had been unfairly hurt because of their association with him.
Sessions in the Berlusconi trial are held a few times a month and are scheduled to continue until the end of May. If the former prime minister is convicted, he could be barred permanently from holding public office. Berlusconi, however, already resigned as Italy’s prime minister in November 2011.
For more information, please see: