Silvio Berlusconi condemns furore over links with teenage girl

Friday, October 29, 2010

LONDON - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has denounced a growing controversy over his links with a teenage Moroccan girl as ‘media trash’.

“I am a person with a heart, and so I take an interest in people’s problems. But I do not take an interest in media trash,” the Guardian quoted Berlusconi as saying in a press conference.

Three close associates of Berlusconi were previously reported to have been made suspects in an investigation into the alleged aiding and abetting of juvenile prostitution.

One of the three, a nationally famous television newscaster, Emilio Fede, said he was unaware of being under investigation, but said he had met the girl at the centre of the affair at Berlusconi’s home.

According to the daily La Repubblica, the girl - known as “Ruby” - was released from a police station in Milan in May, following a direct intervention by the prime minister’s office.

She had been detained on suspicion of theft, but was allowed to go after the police were apparently told that she was the niece of the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak.

Ruby was met outside the police station by the second reported suspect, Berlusconi’s former dental hygienist, an ex-showgirl called Nicole Minetti, who was elected this year as a regional MP for the prime minister’s party.

The third alleged suspect is Dario “Lele” Mora, a showbusiness manager and talent scout who is claimed to have taken “Ruby” - a runaway - under his wing when she arrived in Milan.

Mora said he had “nothing to say” about the reports. The news agency AGI quoted “Ruby” as saying her version of events had been “manipulated”.

An opposition spokesman called for Berlusconi to make a statement to parliament. (ANI)

Filed under: Politics

will not be displayed