George Clooney on witness list for Silvio Berlusconi trial

 

Actor George Clooney is among more than 200 witnesses accepted by a Milan court in the trial of former Premier Silvio Berlusconi for allegedly paying for sex with an underage prostitute.

Clooney has said he was approached by Berlusconi's team to give evidence about "bunga bunga" parties at Berlusconi's villas, but says he only visited the premier's residence once to seek aid for Darfur and declined an invitation to stay.

Berlusconi's defence lawyer Niccolo Ghedini said that Clooney and soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo are on the defence list because an important prosecution witness cited them.

Clooney said he was willing to give evidence, but added: "I wasn't at the bunga bunga party."

"I went to speak about Darfur. ... It was a very interesting conversation to say the least, that became a very different kind of event than anyone ever thought."

At the end of the meeting, Clooney said he was invited to stay for a party. The actor said he responded: "No, I gotta go."

The witness list also includes Karima el-Mahroug, or "Ruby the Heart Breaker", the Moroccan teenager who is alleged to have had sex with Berlusconi in exchange for money. Both she and Berlusconi, 75, have denied a sexual relationship.

Also listed as witnesses are three former aides being tried separately for their alleged role in organising sex-fuelled parties, as well as Mariano Apicella, who has put out four CDs with Berlusconi and often entertains at his residences, and two members of Berlusconi's defunct government, ex-Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and ex-Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini.

By accepting the witnesses, the court agrees their evidence is relevant, although either side may decide later to reduce the number of witnesses or not to call someone because their testimony is no longer needed. Furthermore, Italy has limited power to compel witnesses living abroad to appear, although courts often arrange video testimony for the convenience of potential witnesses.

The court also allowed transcripts of wiretapped calls to be entered as evidence, while a record of phone calls between Berlusconi and a police official will not be admitted.

Berlusconi is also charged with using his influence to cover up the crime of underage prostitution by personally intervening to win Ms el-Mahroug's release from police custody when she was picked up on suspicion of theft.

Berlusconi denies the charge and says he sought to get her out of custody because he believed she was the niece of the former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Linux Systems Administrator

£33000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly successfu...

(Junior) IT Systems Administrator / Infrastructure Analyst

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly ...

Software Developer with SQL and .Net skills

£27000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable and dynamic softw...

SQL Data Migration Specialist / Architect

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice