Rome

Berlusconi accused of 'prostitute ring' in closing arguments

Former Italian premier on trial for 'paying for sex with minor'

Berlusconi accused of 'prostitute ring' in closing arguments

Rome, March 4 - Prosecutors on Monday accused former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi of a "complex system of prostitution" at his mansion outside Milan in which the Moroccan dancer known as Ruby was an "integral part". Prosecutors in Milan started to tackle their closing arguments Monday in the case in which Berlusconi is accused of paying to have sex with the dancer, Karima El Mahroug, before she was 18 during alleged Bunga Bunga sex parties at his home. Both the ex-premier and the woman deny ever having sex. She said money she received from Berlusconi was given as part of a gift. Closing arguments were scheduled to conclude Friday. Prosecutors Monday said the prostitution ring was organized primarily by Nicole Minetti, an ex-Lombardy regional councillor and Berlusconi's former dental hygienist who is being tried in a separate case. Also accused of involvement in the ring were retired TV anchorman and close Berlusconi friend Emilio Fede, and bankrupt ex-talent scout Lele Mora, both of whom are also being tried in a separate case.

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