Milan

Berlusconi dinner dances 'erotic, not sexual' witness says

Performers dressed as 'Arabs, little girls and nurses'

Berlusconi dinner dances 'erotic, not sexual' witness says

Milan, November 12 - A witness called to testify for the defense of Silvio Berlusconi who claimed to be a frequent guest of the ex-premier at his private villa said on Monday that post-dinner performances were "erotic but not sexual". Cuban Liza Barizonte said that dances organized at the media magnate's residence were "theatrical and entertaining" and that the dancers often dressed as "Arabs, little girls and nurses". Barizonte was called to the Milan court to testify in hearings against the ex-premier who is accused of paying for sex with Karima 'Ruby' El Mahroug, an underage Moroccan runaway and nightclub dancer. He is also being charged with alleged abuse of power involving a telephone call he made to a police station where Mahroug was being detained in May 2011 over a theft accusation. Berlusconi reportedly told police that Mahroug was a relative of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Barizonte told the court that she met Berlusconi in 2009 at the San Siro stadium in Milan and that he had been transferring 2,500 euros monthly to her bank account since last March. Barizonte testified that she had slept numerous times at the ex-premier's home. Prosecutors claim Berlusconi had sex with 33 prostitutes at his villa in Arcore near Milan over the course of several months. Berlusconi, who says his parties were innocent and "elegant" affairs, has stressed that both he and Ruby deny having sex, and has quipped "33 women in two months is too many even for someone who likes pretty girls, like me".

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