Monday 1 May 2017

Berlusconi had 'bunga' party plan just before sex probe

Karima El Mahroug of Morocco poses during a photocall. Karima, who goes by the stage name 'Ruby the Heart Stealer', declined to answer questions about her relationship with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Reuters
Karima El Mahroug of Morocco poses during a photocall. Karima, who goes by the stage name 'Ruby the Heart Stealer', declined to answer questions about her relationship with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Reuters

Nick Pisa in Rome

Silvio Berlusconi was planning one of his alleged "bunga bunga" parties just hours before prosecutors disclosed that he was under investigation.

The details emerged in leaked text messages allegedly involving Nicole Minetti (25), Mr Berlusconi's former dental hygienist who is now an Anglo-Italian regional councillor, and who is said to have been the chief recruiter of the girls.

The telephone messages emerged as Ms Minetti again stressed that she was not a "cheap madame" and that Mr Berlusconi's parties were "enjoyable evenings, with no scenes of sex".

In the texts, allegedly exchanged on January 13, a day before the investigation into Mr Berlusconi was announced, the women refer to the prime minister (74) by his nickname 'Papi'. They detail how the party had been planned for the coming Saturday night.

Marystell Garcia Polanco, a television star, allegedly sent the first one which read: "Papi is here Saturday", to which Ms Minetti replies: "How do you know he is here Saturday?"

At the same time, Ms Minetti allegedly sent a message to the glamour model Floriana Marincea which read: "He's here Saturday. We absolutely must be there. Do you have a pretty friend we can take?" Ms Marincea apparently texts back: "Yes, I'll find someone, pretty."

Ms Minetti replied: "Who is it?" getting the reply: "She's very trustworthy, good-looking. I've known her since she was 14 and she's now 25."

The details emerged from intercepts that prosecutors in Milan carried out during their investigation into allegations that Mr Berlusconi had sex with an under age prostitute at a party last year. Mr Berlusconi denies all charges.

Ms Minetti has said: "I did not recruit any girls. I did not have sex with the prime minister."

Italy faces the possibility of a dynastic succession as calls grow for the millionaire daughter of Silvio Berlusconi to enter politics with a view to becoming the country's next prime minister.

Delight

In a move that would delight Mr Berlusconi's supporters but dismay his opponents, Marina Berlusconi is being mooted as his successor as the prostitution scandal threatens to bring his third term in office to a premature end.

Members of his People of Freedom (PDL) party have backed the idea of his daughter becoming a candidate at the next elections.

With Mr Berlusconi holding on to power with only the slimmest of majorities, and accused of having sex with an underage prostitute and then abusing his powers to try to conceal the crime, it is increasingly likely that Italy will go to the polls well before his mandate expires in 2013.

Miss Berlusconi (44), who is known for her love of short skirts and high heels, is already being groomed to take over her father's multi-billion euro business empire.

The eldest of his five children, she heads his Fininvest holding company as well as Mondadori, his publishing empire, and is contemplating a move into politics.

She already has the wealth and the connections -- in the current 'Forbes' list of the world's 100 most powerful women, she is ranked 48, ahead of Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minister, and Jordan's Queen Rania.

The suggestion that Ms Berlusconi might exchange the boardroom for parliament was greeted with enthusiasm by party faithful last week. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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