Milan

Ruby begins testimony at pimps' trial

Says she thought she was going to disco, not berlusconi's

Ruby begins testimony at pimps' trial

Milan, May 17 - The former nightclub dancer at the centre of a sex scandal involving ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi testified Friday that she was very surprised the first time she visited his home. "When I got out of the car (at Berlusconi's house), I was told this was the villa of the premier, and I was surprised," Karima El Mahroug, a former nightclub dancer who went by the stage name Ruby Heartstealer, said during her first testimony at the trial of three people accused of supplying the ex-premier and media magnate with prostitutes. The alleged pimps are retired TV anchorman and close Berlusconi friend Emilio Fede, bankrupt ex-talent scout Lele Mora and ex-Lombardy regional councillor and the ex-premier's former dental hygienist Nicole Minetti. "It did not seem real," Ruby said. She said Berlusconi, then premier, introduced himself and she was introduced simply as Ruby. El Mahroug added that she went out that night at the invitation of Mora and thought she was on her way to a disco. In a separate trial, 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. On Monday, Milan prosecutor Ilda Boccassini requested a six-year sentence for Berlusconi on the charges he allegedly had sex with El Mahroug when she was a minor and for allegedly abusing his position as premier to spring her from a Milan police station in May 2010, supposedly to avoid a diplomatic incident with Egypt.

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