Italian PM 'paid £2.5 mn to women at parties'



Italian PM `paid £2.5 mn to women at parties` London: More trouble seems to be brewing for Silvio Berlusconi, with documents emerging that the embattled Italian Prime Minister paid some GBP 2.5 million in cash to dozens of women invited to his infamous 'bunga bunga' parties.

According to the documents, several budding attractive starlets were among the grateful recipients of the cash handed out to them by the 75-year-old Italian PM who is facing trial in various cases, including one where he is accused of having sex with an under-age prostitute, Karima El Mahroug.

In fact, these latest court documents form part of 65,000 pages in a corruption case related to a political ally of Berlusconi, and investigators have accessed several bank accounts used by both men, the British media reported.

The bank details reveal that among the women who were handsomely rewarded was Sabina Began who has been dubbed the Queen Bee as she is said to have organised several parties Berlusconi hosted.

Began was given EUR 50,000 in 2008 from his account -- she arranged a party in Rome at the politician's official residence, which was attended by George Clooney the same year, according to the documents.

Among other women who were paid were TV presenter Virginia Sanjust, who is rumoured to have had an affair with Berlusconi and who was given EUR 150,000 from his account.

Former beauty contestant, 29-year-old Barbara Matera, who raised eyebrows after she went from TV to European Parliament representing Berlusconi's party without political experience, was given EUR 95,000, according to the documents.

Actress Evelina Manna, 37, who also claimed to have had a relationship with Berlusconi, was given EUR 700,000. Others include TV journalist Francesca Impiglia, 23, who was given EUR 50,000, and former Big Brother contestant Angela Sozio, 31, who was given EUR 38,000.

PTI