‘Italy PM covered up links with club dancer’
More trouble seems to be brewing for Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi after it emerged that he tried to cover up his relationship with a teenage nightclub dancer, a charge which prosecutors say was similar to a “military attack”.world Updated: Jun 16, 2011 02:02 IST
More trouble seems to be brewing for Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi after it emerged that he tried to cover up his relationship with a teenage nightclub dancer, a charge which prosecutors say was similar to a “military attack”.
Berlusconi, who has been embroiled in several sex scandals, was now accused of abusing his office by telephoning a Milan police station and putting officers under pressure to release Karima El Mahroug, known by her stage name as Ruby the Heart Stealer, from arrest on a charge of theft.
The claims by prosecutors came at the resumption of the trial in which he is accused of paying the young woman for sex, the Daily Mail reported.
According to the report, the 74-year-old PM then allegedly sent two associates to collect the 17-year-old El Mahroug from the police station. The associates were Nicole Minetti, an Anglo-Italian show girl who his party elevated into politics, and Michelle Conceicao, a Brazilian starlet who was known to Berlusconi.
“It was a military attack, an encirclement, and it was all directed towards the police station,” the lead prosecutor in the case Ilda Boccassini was quoted as saying. Berlusconi’s attempt to bail out the teenager occurred on the night of May 27, 2010, after she had been accused by a friend of stealing several thousand euros in cash and arrested by police.
Prosecutors claim Berlusconi was terrified that she would spill the beans on their relationship and he did all he could to extricate her from questioning.
Boccassini dismissed an plea application for the case to be either dropped or transferred to Rome to be heard by a special tribunal of ministers.
“Everything was done with respect for the law and the constitution,” Boccassini said.