Berlusconi still holding sex parties, leaked wire taps reveal
Published 06/06/2011 | 05:00
ITALIAN prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has carried on holding "bunga bunga" parties despite being on trial for having sex with an underage prostitute, according to leaked wire taps.
According to the wire taps of conversations, involving businessman and former Formula One owner Flavio Briatore, Mr Berlusconi switched the venue of the parties from his villa in Arcore, near Milan, to Villa Gernetto, a property he owns a few miles away.
Investigators passed on the details after coming across them during a tax inquiry into Mr Briatore. The conversations were also leaked to an Italian newspaper.
Prosecutors claim that Mr Berlusconi gave young women money and jewellery at the parties in return for sexual favours. Allegedly among them was Karima el Mahroug, the dancer known as Ruby the Heart Stealer, with whom Mr Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex when she was 17.
Mr Berlusconi's lawyer said: "This is completely without foundation. These telephone calls, if they exist, are recordings that this newspaper has in violation of the investigation.
"At Villa Gernetto no parties were ever organised, but there have been events between foreign and Italian political visitors."
Mr Briatore's lawyer said: "I find it absurd that a newspaper has revealed wire taps before an investigation closed."
Mr Berlusconi is also accused of abuse of power. He denies any wrongdoing. His trial resumes this week. (© Daily Telegraph, London)