Hearings continue into charges against ex-premier Berlusconi

Former dental hygienist knew Ruby was underage, say prosecutors

Hearings continue into charges against ex-premier Berlusconi

Milan, May 13 - Nicole Minetti performed two different jobs: one managing prostitutes and the other serving on a regional council, Milan prosecutor Ilda Boccassini said Monday during the trial of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi. Minetti, who was Berlusconi's former dental hygienist had "this double work", and distributed her time evenly between the tasks given by her mentor, said the prosecutor. And Minetti was also aware - like other Berlusconi friends including Emilio Fede and Lele Mora - that Karima El Mahroug, a young Moroccan former nightclub dancer who went by the stage name 'Ruby Heartstealer', was underage. Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with Ruby before she was 18, the legal age of prostitution in Italy, and of allegedly abusing his power in a bid to cover up the affair. El Mahroug and Berlusconi have both said they never had sex during several of the ex-premier's so-called Bunga Bunga parties while she was underage. Boccassini said that Ruby quickly became a favourite of Berlusconi. Prosecutors have produced phone records allegedly proving El Mahroug stayed at Berlusconi's villa several times in April-May 2010, when she was 17. As well as facing three years in jail for sex with an alleged underaged prostitute, Berlusconi could be sentenced to a further 12 years for abusing his position as premier to spring Ruby from a Milan police station, supposedly to avoid a diplomatic incident with Egypt. Photo: Nicole Minetti

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