Berlusconi spent millions corrupting Ruby - prosecution

Moroccan 'falsely denied having sex' with ex-premier

(ANSA) - Milan, June 30 - Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi spent millions of euros bribing exotic dancer and alleged underage prostitute Karima El Mahroug aka Ruby to keep mum about his alleged sex parties, Milan prosecutors said Tuesday.
    In return for huge sums, they said, the former teen runaway falsely denied having sex with the media magnate at his villa outside Milan.
    The prosecutors said they believed that Berlusconi corrupted Ruby, who was at the centre of the 'bunga bunga' sex scandal, to give favourable evidence at criminal trials, transferring funds amounting to some seven million euros to her which she used for various purposes. Berlusconi said the claims were "another attempt by the Milan prosecutor's office to build accusations against me based on nothing". He said he had already been cleared of the charges in the other trials.
    The prosecutors have completed the so-called Ruby Ter (Ruby Three) case probe into allegations Berlusconi bribed witnesses to perjure themselves during two trials. The ex-premier, Ruby and several other women who took part in so-called 'bunga bunga' parties at Berlusconi's home have been notified the investigation is closed. This step usually comes before prosecutors request indictments. Last year the supreme court definitively cleared the 78-year-old billionaire of underage prostitution charges in the main case because it said there was no proof Berlusconi knew Ruby was 17 at the time - one year under the legal limit for sex workers.
    The court said, however, that "paid acts of a sexual nature" took place between Berlusconi and Ruby, whose real name is Karima El Marough.
    She alleged used the money he gave her to set up a restaurant in Mexico, among other things, prosecutors allege. El Marough's former partner Luca Risso is suspected of laundering the seven million euros, the sources said. The case against two long-serving Berlusconi lawyers, Niccolò Ghedini and Piero Longo, is set to be dropped as they were not among the people notified of the end of the investigation.
    Ruby allegedly falsely denied having sex with Berlusconi and falsely denied agreeing to accept the "enormous" sums of money from him to 'act mad' and deny his "elegant parties" were of a sexual nature, prosecutors said.
    Berlusconi, they said, paid more than 20 girls for their silence on his alleged bunga bunga sex parties from November 2011 "until yesterday".
    Investigations began in January 2014 after Milan judges published their reasons for separate first-instance convictions of Berlusconi and of former TV anchor Emilio Fede, ex-talent scout Lele Mora and dental-hygienist-turned Lombardy councillor Nicole Minetti for pimping for the three-time premier.
    Berlusconi was subsequently acquitted on appeal last July on grounds there was no proof he knew Ruby was 17 at the time, while the convictions of Fede, Mora and Mienti were upheld on appeal in November.


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