Silvio Berlusconi's defence: I'm far too old for 33 women in two months

Silvio Berlusconi paid for sex with teen belly dancer Karima "Ruby" El Mahroug on 13 occasions last year, prosecutors will tell next month's trial when the Italian premier will stand accused of paying for sex with a minor and abuse of office.

As the probe into the "Rubygate" affair ended on Tuesday, investigating magistrates produced an eight-page report stating that Mr Berlusconi's illegal encounters with the young Moroccan occurred between 14 February and 2 May last year, while she was still 17.

It adds that his associates may have been grooming her for prostitution the previous year. It was at this time that the TV newsreader Emilio Fede, a close friend of the Premier, first met Ruby at a beauty contest at Taormina, Sicily.

The prosecutors recommend that three other associates of Mr Berlusconi, also investigated as part of the Rubygate affair – the impresario Lele Mora, Mr Fede and Mr Berlusconi's former dental hygienist Nicole Minetti – stand trial for procuring prostitutes. If the judge issues indictments, these will result in a separate trial from Mr Berlusconi's fast-track hearing, due to begin in Milan on 6 April. The Premier is also accused of abuse of office, after allegedly lying to police in order to secure Ms El Mahroug's release after she was held by police in May last year.

Paying minors for sex carries a jail term of up to three years. Abuse of office can carry a 12-year sentence. Mr Berlusconi and his associates deny all charges. Ms El Mahroug also denies having sex with the Prime Minister. Investigators said yesterday that a total of 32 other young women prostituted themselves regularly at Mr Berlusconi's Arcore mansion near Milan.

In their latest report prosecutors also appear to have solved the "bunga-bunga" mystery. The words describe the three-phase sequence of Berlusconi's adult parties.

"The first phase consisted of a dinner; the second was the 'bunga bunga' phase which took place in a room used as a discotheque, where the participants appeared in masks, performing striptease and erotic dances ... and being touched on their intimate parts by Mr Berlusconi," they say.

In the third phase, "one or more young women spend the night with Berlusconi for payments above those received by the other participants".

In a rare interview with the opposition La Repubblica newspaper yesterday, Mr Berlusconi ridiculed the charges. "I'm 75 years old and although I'm naughty, 33 girls in two months seems a bit much even for a 30-year-old," he said. He added that he wanted to "publicly defend" the young women who "risk spending the rest of their lives with an indelible stain" on their characters. "And yet their only fault was to take part in dinners with the Premier at which there were three musicians and six waiters."

He repeated his claim that he has had a steady girlfriend for over a year, who "would have clawed my eyes out" had he been involved in the sleazy events described by prosecutors.

Mr Berlusconi also faces the resumption of three other trials for tax and corruption offences.

The charges

* Berlusconi faces trial on April 6 in Milan charged with paying for sex with an underage prostitute.

* He is also accused of attempting to cover up the alleged crime by abusing his position, for which he could face a 12 year prison sentence.

* Three of his associates could also be indicted for procuring prostitutes for the Italian Premier meaning Berlusconi could be drawn into a separate trial.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Latest stories from i100
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

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable