Three of Berlusconi's sidekicks now facing prostitution charges
Published 07/05/2011 | 05:00
Prosecutors have recommended criminal charges be brought against a former dental hygienist who is alleged to have procured women for sex with Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister.
Nicole Minetti (25) is one of three of Berlusconi's closest associates who are facing allegations of wrongdoing as part of the same investigation involving a teenage prostitute allegedly paid for sex by the politician.
Ms Minetti is said to have procured dozens of attractive young women for Berlusconi's infamous "bunga bunga" parties held in his villa near Milan.
Prosecutors claim that Ms Minetti, a former television personality, hired the women with the help of Emilio Fede (79), a television news anchorman, and Lele Mora (55), a showbusiness agent. Ms Minetti treated Berlusconi's broken teeth after he was hit in the face with a statue at a rally in December 2009.
There was widespread surprise when she was entered as a candidate for local elections last year by Mr Berlusconi and won a seat on the council for the Lombardy region.
Prosecution files leaked earlier this year included a telephone tap transcript in which a former police officer allegedly tells a friend sordid details about the bunga bunga parties.
Ms Minetti and the two men are said to have recruited 33 girls for the parties -- one of whom, allegedly, was erotic dancer Karima El Mahroug.
Prosecutors say that at the time she was just 17 years old and she was paid by Berlusconi with cash and jewellery -- as were the other girls -- in return for sex. In Italy the legal age of consent is 14 but paying for sex with a woman under 18 is deemed under-age prostitution. (© Daily Telegraph, London)