Trial of alleged Berlusconi sex suppliers resumes in Milan

'Bunga bunga' parties 'a joke' says defendant

Trial of alleged Berlusconi sex suppliers resumes in Milan

(ANSA) - Milan, September 28 - A trial against three people for allegedly supplying ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi with prostitutes resumed on Friday in Milan. Bankrupt ex-talent scout Lele Mora, Lombardy regional councillor and Berlusconi's former dental hygienist Nicole Minetti and retired television anchor Emilio Fede must answer to charges of inducing and favouring prostitution, including underage prostitution, in connection with alleged sex parties hosted by Berlusconi at his villa at Arcore near Milan. One of the alleged prostitutes at the center of the case is Karima 'Ruby' El Mahroug, a Moroccan-born belly dancer who was underage at the time. Ruby's father Mohammed El Mahroug told the court that all his daughter wanted from life was money and ''we didn't have any''. In a separate trial, Berlusconi is suspected of paying for sex with Ruby after several of the parties and allegedly coercing police into releasing her after an unrelated theft claim to hush up the fact. Prosecutors say Berlusconi had sex with 33 prostitutes at his villa over the course of several months. Mora and Minetti were both present in court on Friday, Mora for the first time. Mora told journalists outside the courthouse that Berlusconi was innocent and that the so-called 'bunga bunga' parties were nothing more than a ''joke'': ''at Arcore we ate and had a good time''.

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