No orgies, just cola and fun at 'bunga bunga' parties -- Silvio
Modestly-dressed girls sipped mineral water at gentle soirees, say lawyers
Published 27/01/2011 | 05:00
SILVIO Berlusconi's parties were not wild 'bunga bunga' orgies but gentle soirees where modestly dressed young women sipped mineral water and watched movies, according to a dossier of evidence compiled by his lawyers.
To counter the allegations laid out by prosecutors citing various models and showgirls who attended the parties, Mr Berlusconi's lawyers have interviewed 29 witnesses who give a very different account.
The friends and allies of the Italian prime minister presented a squeaky-clean image of the private parties he held at his Villa San Martino mansion at Arcore, outside Milan.
Their testimony is sharply at odds with wire tap evidence gathered by prosecutors, which painted an image of parties in which starlets did stripteases and pole dances and allegedly prostituted themselves to the 74-year-old prime minister.
Mr Berlusconi's lawyers presented their dossier to parliament this week as a riposte to a 389-page dossier compiled by magistrates in Milan. In return, prosecutors presented another 227 pages of evidence.
The testimony will form the basis of Mr Berlusconi's defence if, as prosecutors have demanded, he is sent for trial on charges of paying for the sexual favours of an under-age prostitute and trying to conceal the liaisons by abusing his office. He denies all the allegations.
The witnesses include MPs from his ruling People of Freedom Party, his doctor and physiotherapist, a Neapolitan singer with whom he has recorded ballads, and showgirls.
They claim that Mr Berlusconi's parties involved nothing racier than watching football and drinking Coca-Cola and modest quantities of wine and champagne. There was no sex, no under-age girls and certainly no prostitutes.
"He is a person who is very kind to everyone," said Aida Yespica (29,) a Venezuelan model and reality show contestant who said she has known Mr Berlusconi for at least four years.
The so-called 'bunga bunga' room, an underground salon where starlets allegedly put on lascivious performances, was used for karaoke sessions during which guests "ate fruit", the friends said.
The only "obscene thing" was the cheesy music that was played, joked Lele Mora, a showbusiness impresario who is under investigation for complicity in the alleged prostitution ring. (© Daily Telegraph, London)