'Berlusconi bedded with underage girls'



`Berlusconi bedded with underage girls` London: More trouble seems to be brewing for former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi as a female guest of his infamous "bung bunga" party has claimed the controversial leader slept with an underage girl at one such party.

The revelation by Brazilian model Michelle Conceicao came just hours before the resumption of Berlusconi's trial for having sex with underage prostitute Karima El Mahroug, when she was just 17 years old and technically still a minor, the Daily Mail reported.

In an interview to a Brazilian magazine, when Conceicao was asked if she saw Berlusconi "pay and go to bed with underage girls", Conceicao replied: "Certainly that's true. I was there," the British tabloid reported.

Prosecutors at his trial in Milan claim that Berlusconi paid a string of women with cash, jewellery and cars to attend his bunga bunga parties and they were offered more if they spent the night at his luxury villa at Arcore.

Conceicao, who was among the guests who attended the parties, revealed in her interview how one girl, TV presenter Barbara Guerra, had slipped away with Berlusconi into his bedroom at the end of a party in April 2010.

She said: "Ruby (El Mahroug) and I were in the bedroom next door and we were laughing. We said that Barbara was faking it then after a while we couldn't hear anything.

"Then Barbara came out and said that he (Berlusconi) had fallen asleep. At that point Ruby slipped inside and closed the door. She managed to wake up the sleeping prime minister. She did it all herself -- he is of a certain age," Conceicao was quoted as saying to the magazine.

Conceicao added: "All the girls who were paid went with him. Those who stayed the night got 5,000 Euros or maybe more, those who didn't stay got 1,000 or 2,000 Euros."

Conceicao, is due to give evidence at the trial later this month, was to testify in the trial last month but she was unable to do so as she was in Brazil, she said, while adding that Berlusconi had called her and made a veiled threat to her about her evidence.

Meanwhile, her claims were immediately dismissed by the Berlusconi's lawyers describing them as "completely unfounded and contradictory", and adding that she had never been to a party at which El Mahroug was present.

Berlusconi has insisted that nothing untoward happened at his parties and they were merely convivial evenings of "fine food and music" and El Mahroug, who is also known as Ruby the Heartstealer, also says nothing happened between them.

Prosecutors say at the time of the parties El Mahroug was only 17 years old and although the age of consent in Italy is 14, but paying for sex with a woman below 18 years is seen as underage prostitution and can draw three years imprisonment.

PTI