Silvio Berlusconi promised €5 million to Ruby the Heart Stealer for her silence about their relationship

Silvio Berlusconi was “crazy” about the teenage exotic dancer who allegedly had sex with the former prime minister and promised to pay her 5 million euros (£4 million) to buy her silence, according to leaked telephone intercepts.

Karima El Mahroug, better known by her stage name Ruby the Heart Stealer, is heard telling a friend in October 2010 that she and her lawyer had requested 5 million euros and that Mr Berlusconi had accepted their demand…

The audio conversation published by Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, on its website, is one of several recorded by police for Milan prosecutors between October 26 – 28 2010, after news broke that the then 17-year-old was among the guests at the ex-premier’s ‘bunga bunga’ parties at his luxury mansion outside Milan…

The billionaire politician, who resigned in November, is on trial in Milan on charges of paying for sex with Miss El Mahroug whom prosecutors allege was working as a prostitute.

He is also accused of abuse of office by pressuring police in Milan to release her from custody after she was arrested on suspicion of stealing cash and jewellery from a flat mate.

In another conversation recorded on October 28 2010, Miss El Mahroug is heard telling a friend named only as Antonella how excited she is…

“Silvio called me yesterday saying ‘Ruby how much money do you want?,” Miss El Mahroug says in the conversation.

“I will pay you whatever you want, I will dress you in gold but it ‘s important you hide everything. Do not say anything to anyone…”

Witnesses have described starlets and showgirls performing stripteases, which were held at the former prime minister’s villa at Arcore.

The parties were nothing more than “elegant dinners”, he said, repeating a defence that he has used ever since the scandal broke two years ago.

The trial continues.

You must wonder how the patience of Italian voters lasted this long. The corruption of a society by a multi-millionaire who controls much of the Italian press and TV is damning enough. Voters and elected officials allowed this manipulation of society to continue unchecked for years.

When will Italy rise up at the polls and kick out the thugs and sycophants who supported his reign for so long?

Our favorite corrupt politician, Silvio Berlusconi paid €127,000 to witnesses in trial

Silvio and his best American bubba

Italy’s former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has handed out cash gifts worth more than €100,000 to young women due to testify in his trial on charges of paying an underage prostitute.

Berlusconi has reportedly paid €127,000 to three witnesses since his trial began last April before allegedly putting pressure on Milan police to hush up the case. The trial centres on Moroccan runaway Karima el-Mahroug, known as Ruby the Heart Stealer, who attended so-called “bunga bunga” parties at Berlusconi’s mansion outside Milan in 2010.

Prosecutors allege the parties were organised by Nicole Minetti, a former dental hygienist turned TV showgirl who was nominated a councillor for the Lombardy region by Berlusconi’s party. Minetti, who is also standing trial separately for procuring prostitutes for the former prime minister, was paid €55,000 by him in two instalments in October and November, prosecutors say, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Two regular guests at those parties, sisters Eleonora and Imma de Vivo – models who appeared on an Italian celebrity reality show – received €72,000, paid by Berlusconi via their father, in July and October.

One party guest, dancer Maria Makdoum, has told prosecutors she saw the de Vivo twins dancing around Berlusconi in their knickers and bra at one of his after-dinner bunga bunga sessions. Berlusconi “was touching their intimate parts and they were touching him,” she said.

Berlusconi’s lawyer, Niccolò Ghedini, admitted payments had been made to Minetti and the de Vivos, but denied they were intended to sway their testimony.

The linking of the payments with the fact they are witnesses in the so-called Ruby trial is absolutely spurious and without foundation,” Ghedini said.

“With his usual generosity, Berlusconi has sought to blah, blah, blah della blah!

The trial continues next week.

RTFA if you feel the need to catch up on the lawyer-speak. Otherwise –

Italy won’t climb back into the modern world until a couple of responsibilities are resumed. They used to be ordinary parts of life – excepting the part about hiding money instead of paying taxes. And even that was only for the very rich.

But, Italy needs to stop listening to people because they own newspapers, television stations and football teams. Even if the football teams are decent. And Italy needs to put away the corrupt – even if they own newspapers, television stations and football teams.

Yes, I know we ain’t doing much better here in the United States. But, at the current rate, we’ll sort this out before Italy – and 50 years ago, I couldn’t have said that.

Berlusconi gave €7,000 to 17-year-old belly dancer

Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

The latest sex scandal threatening Silvio Berlusconi has deepened after a 17-year-old Moroccan belly dancer linked to the Italian prime minister said he had given her €7,000 and jewellery when she sat next to him at a Valentine’s Day dinner held this year for 10 women at his mansion near Milan.

The girl, named in the Italian media as Karima Keyek but known more widely by her stage name Ruby Rubacuori, or Stealer of Hearts, denies sleeping with Berlusconi.

“It is the first time in my life that a man has not tried to take me to bed. He behaved like a father, I swear,” she told La Repubblica from Genoa, where she is hiding out in an apartment allegedly lent to her by a former porn star.

But she has painted a vivid portrait of private parties held by the 74-year-old prime minister, known by the Italian media as lavish affairs that often transformed into “bunga-bunga” sessions involving after-dinner sex between male and female guests.

In La Repubblica yesterday, Keyek said her host had told her not to come to see him any more after discovering she was not, as she had claimed, 24. “Berlusconi said he had had enough problems in the past with another underage girl,” she said…

“He gave me an envelope with €7,000 in it and I told him I dreamed of gaining Italian citizenship and becoming a policewoman.” She told La Repubblica: “It was like going to the church charity where they give you a bag of shopping…”

Yesterday the respected Corriere della Sera newspaper reported that Berlusconi had personally informed a senior police official that Keyek was related to Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak. Berlusconi says he merely told police he was dispatching a colleague to take temporary custody of Keyek should she be released – from charges of theft.

My kin in Italy wouldn’t vote for Berlusconi on a bet. He reminds him too much of the Fascisti they fought against 80 years. That’s not just style, either.

In Italy – it is surprising how often a four-flusher can succeed by pushing the Right buttons. Patriotism, piety, bigotry have always been more profitable than civil rights and civil liberties. But, then, Italy doesn’t have the world market cornered on sophistry, Old colonial powers have been forced to share that with the 20th Century’s champion.