ITALIAN police were ordered to search for the erotic dancer at the centre of Silvio Berlusconi's sex trial after she failed to turn up for a court hearing.
Karima El Mahroug, who the former prime minister is accused of paying for sex when she was an alleged underage prostitute, was due to testify in Milan. But the woman better known by her stage name Ruby the Heart Stealer failed to appear yesterday or send an explanation for her absence. Ms El Mahroug's lawyer said she had no idea where she was.
"She sent me a text saying she was abroad but I have no information about this trip and I don't know when she will return," said Paola Boccardi.
The response infuriated prosecutors who accused Mr Berlusconi's defence of trying to string out the trial so that it would not reach a verdict before February when elections are likely. Mr Berlusconi denies any wrongdoing. The trial was adjourned until Dec 17. (©Daily Telegraph London)