Ruby 'sorry' she told Berlusconi she was Mubarak's relative

Women at centre of sex case protests outside Milan court

Ruby 'sorry' she told Berlusconi she was Mubarak's relative

Milan, April 4 - The young Moroccan woman known as 'Ruby' who ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi is on trial for allegedly paying for sex before she was 18 reiterated Thursday that she never had intercourse with the ex-premier. Ruby, whose real name is Karima El Mahroug, also said she had told Berlusconi she was a relative of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and that she was sorry about this "blunder". Berlusconi is also accused of abuse of power for calling to a police station to have Mahroug released after she had been detained on a theft charge. He has said he did so to avoid a diplomatic incident because he wrongly believed she was a member of Mubarak's family, but prosecutors argue he was simply trying to cover up the affair. "I'm sorry. I committed a blunder when I said I was a relative of Mubarak," she told reporters outside Milan's courthouse. She also showed one of her old passports in which the name Mubarak appears. She said it was added so she could falsely claim to be related to the former Egyptian leader. She was speaking to the media during a protest at not having been heard as a witness during the trial. The former nightclub dancer and alleged prostitute failed to show up to testify when called in December. Her lawyer told presiding judges that her client was vacationing abroad with her partner and child and would be available to testify in January. In January, El Mahroug appeared in the Milan court, but in a surprise move judges upheld a request by the defence to not demand her testimony. Instead the judges agreed to rely on statements El Mahroug made to investigators in the case. In March, judges in Milan suspended Berlusconi's trial until April 22 while the supreme Cassation Court considers a ruling on a motion to move the case to a court in Brescia on alleged grounds of biased judges. Both Berlusconi and El Mahroug have denied having sex during one of the ex-premier's so-called Bunga Bunga parties while she was underage.

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