Hall of Shame? Italy PM on US trafficking report

Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi is alleged to have sexual relationship with a Moroccan-born underage prostitute.

Updated: Oct 31, 2011, 14:02 PM IST

Washington: There is more embarrassment
for Silvio Berlusconi, with a US report on human trafficking
naming the Italian Prime Minister as a result of his alleged
sexual relationship with a Moroccan-born underage prostitute.

The 75-year-old Italian Premier is currently facing trial
in Milan for allegedly having sex with belly dancer Karima El
Mahroug, also known as `Ruby the Heart Stealer`, at one of the
evening parties he had hosted at his lavish villa, and at the
time she was just 17 years old. Both deny any wrong-doing.

But, it has now emerged that Berlusconi was named in
this year`s US State Department`s Trafficking in Persons 2011
report which details the parties and describes how one of the
guests was a minor, `The Daily Telegraph` online reported.

"In February 2011, judges set a trial date for PM Silvio
Berlusconi for the alleged commercial sexual exploitation of
a Moroccan child, media reports include indicate evidence of
third party involvement in the case, indicating the girl was
a victim of trafficking," the US report said.

The State Department report adds: "During the reporting
period, the country`s (Italy) prime minister was investigated
for facilitating child prostitution."

Prosecutors in Milan have charged three of Berlusconi`s
closest friends with procuring prostitutes for his parties and
this relates to presence of El Mahroug at the parties which
were held at his lavish villa at Arcore near Milan.

The US State Department report is put together every year
and draws from reports from 180 countries across the world as
well as non-governmental organisations who help compile case
histories and investigations detailed in the document.