A verdict in a Milan court has heaped further pressure on Silvio Berlusconi. Three of his associates have been found guilty of aiding and abetting prostitution by procuring girls for paid sex with him.
Karima El Marou or Ruby the Heartstealer as she is known was one of the girls. Last month the former prime minister was sentenced to seven years for paying for sex with the 17-year-old.
Emilio Fede a television newsreader and showbusiness agent Lele Mora were each sentenced to seven years for helping to recruit young women including Ruby. They were also banned from holding public office. Nicole Minetti an ex Lombardy councillor was sentenced to five years in jail. All three denied any wrongdoing and are expected to appeal.
There could be further legal woe for Berlusconi. In Friday’s verdict the Milan court asked prosecutors to investigate whether the 76-year-old and around 30 others should face charges over evidence which was presented in the case. Judicial sources indicated this might involve influencing witnesses. In a statement his lawyers dismissed the allegations as “absurd”.