Berlusconi under investigation in prostitution case

Friday, January 14, 2011

MILAN - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is under investigation in a prostitution case, an Italian newspaper reported Friday.

The case involves a Moroccan go-go dancer who was linked to Berlusconi in 2010 after she claimed to have attended parties at the premier’s house when she was still 17 years old, Milan daily Corriere della Sera reported on its website.

Prosecutors in Milan are considering charges against the 74-year-old Berlusconi relating to alleged attempts by the premier to interfere with evidence relating to the sexual nature of some of the activities at the parties, the Corriere della Sera report said.

Another alleged charge against the premier is “abuse of power”, relating to his intervention on behalf of the Moroccan woman, Karima El Mahroug, when she was being held by police in connection with a theft in May 2010.

After newspapers broke the story in October 2010, Berlusconi confirmed that he intervened on El Mahroug’s behalf to prevent her from spending time in jail, and asked police to release her in the custody of a regional politician and former television showgirl, Nicole Minetti.

Berlusconi reportedly told police that El Mahroug, who uses the stage-name Ruby Rubacuori (heart-stealer) was a niece of Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak.

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