Rome: Italian police arrested a businessman
on Thursday on charges of extorting money from Premier Silvio
Berlusconi in return for cooperating in a probe over
recruiting prostitutes to attend wild parties at Berlusconi`s
Giampaolo Tarantini and his wife Angela Devenuto were
picked up in Rome on Thursday morning, police in Naples said.
Berlusconi is not under investigation.
Tarantini has admitted he paid a high-end prostitute,
Patrizia D`Addario, and other women to attend parties at
Berlusconi`s residences, but insists the premier didn`t know.
He is currently under investigation in Bari for allegedly
aiding and abetting prostitution.
Naples Prosecutor Francesco Greco said Tarantini had
forced Berlusconi to pay his family legal and housing costs in
exchange for Tarantino`s cooperation in the Bari prostitution
Specifically, Greco alleges that Berlusconi`s payment was
designed to ensure that Tarantino entered a plea bargain in
the Bari case rather than letting it go to trial. Such a move
would limit the publication of possibly embarrassing telephone
intercepts concerning the women who went to Berlusconi`s