Did Berlusconi offer to 'cover Ruby in gold' to keep her quiet?

   Apr 24, 11:38 am

London, April 24 (ANI): The teenage belly dancer allegedly paid by Silvio Berlusconi for sex told a friend that the former Italian prime minister offered her to give all the money she wants and to cover her in gold to keep silence about their relationship, according to newly emerged wiretaps.

Moroccan-born Karima "Ruby" El Mahroug also told that she began "seeing" Berlusconi when she was just 16 years old she later demanded 5m euro (4m pounds) from him to keep quiet about it, the Independent reported.

Berlusconi is on trial in Milan, accused of paying for sex with a minor and abusing his office to cover up the act. But both El Mahroug and Berlusconi deny having had sex together.

However, in the intercepted phone calls, El Mahroug, now 19, is heard telling a friend: "I know Silvio and now the fact is coming out that I'm a lover of Silvio. He's crazy about me. I've been seeing him for a year now. It's in all the papers. He's told me to pretend I'm crazy."

"He called me yesterday and said I'll give you all the money you want, I'll pay you, I'll cover you in gold but the important thing is that you hide everything and don't tell anyone anything," she is heard saying on the wiretaps , which were published on the website of Italy's La Repubblica newspaper.

Prosecutors will use the conversation as evidence of illegal sexual relations and of the lengths to which Berlusconi and his aides were prepared to go to cover them up.

At least 13 sexual encounters are said to have taken place during or after the notorious "bung-bunga" parties at his Arcore mansion outside Milan in 2010.

In another conversation, El Mahroug reveals that she asked the billionaire for 5m euro to keep quiet.

Berlusconi has denied all charges. He has frequently criticised the courts and accused investigating magistrates of harbouring a politically-motivated grudge against him.

The mogul, whose premiership collapsed late last year amid the growing financial crisis and after numerous scandals, has consistently described his notorious soirees, in which prosecutors claim he paid for sex with 33 women, as "refined and elegant parties".

Last week he appeared at the Milan court and told reporters: "Bunga bunga? It was just a burlesque competition."

Details recently emerged of how strippers in nun costumes performed for him during one of the "elegant" dinner parties.

Bank records have revealed that since the start of the 'Rubygate' trial, the billionaire has paid a total of 127,000 euro to three key witnesses.

These include one of the dancing "nuns", Nicole Minetti, now a regional councillor for Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PDL) party.

Berlusconi has denied that he was trying to buy favourable testimony from the three women, declaring that the payments were an act of generosity towards the women whose reputations had "been ruined by the prosecutors".

The sex offence facing Berlusconi carries a maximum three-year sentence, and abuse of office can be punished with 12 years in prison. However, under Italian sentencing guidelines, Berlusconi, as a 75-year-old, would not go to prison if found guilty.

He denies all charges. He is also entitled to two appeals under Italian law.

Observers say that the ' Rubygate' trial represents magistrates' best chance of achieving a definitive conviction against Berlusconi. (ANI)

President Obama wants to play dominoes with David Letterman post retirement May 5, 1:22 pm
Washington, May 5 (ANI): When the US President Barack Obama recently appeared on 'The Late Show' for the final time before David Letterman signs off, the two talked about potential retirement plans.
Full Story
New IS video shows 14-year-old 'mini Jihadi John' executing man accused of spying May 5, 1:03 pm
London, May 05 (ANI): A new video released by the Islamic State (IS) reportedly shows a "mini Jihadi John" executing an alleged spy with a 9mm automatic pistol.
Full Story
Ex-bodyguard of Fidel Castro claims leader headed illegal drug-smuggling schemes May 5, 1:03 pm
Washington, May 05 (ANI): A former bodyguard of the ex-Cuban leader has written in a new book about Castro's alleged luxurious lifestyle claiming that he headed illegal drug-smuggling schemes to the United States.
Full Story
Norway named world's best place to be a mother May 5, 12:02 pm
London, May 05 (ANI): Norway has been named as the world's best place to be a mother in the Save the Children's 16th annual State of the World's Mothers report.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY