Prosecution says Ruby lied at trial for financial gain

Ex-premier stands accused of sex with minor and abuse of power

Prosecution says Ruby lied at trial for financial gain

Milan, May 13 - The exotic dancer at the centre of a sex scandal involving ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi lied about her role to gain a financial fortune, a prosecutor said Monday. Karima El Mahroug, a young Moroccan former nightclub dancer who went by the stage name 'Ruby Heartstealer', lied when she denied having sexual relations with Berlusconi, Milan prosecutor Ilda Boccassini told the court. El Mahroug knew that if she lied to protect Berlusconi, she stood to gain "millions of euros" from the politician, said Boccassini. Berlusconi stands 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. Berlusconi faces jail time not only on the charges of having sex with a minor, but also for allegedly abusing his position as premier to spring Ruby from a Milan police station in May 2010, supposedly to avoid a diplomatic incident with Egypt. According to the prosecutor, it was in Berlusconi's "best interests" to get Ruby out of jail at that time, to try to ensure their sexual relationship remained secret.

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