Milan

Ruby says Berlusconi 'always' gave her envelopes of cash

Exotic dancer says she falsely claimed to be Mubarak family

Ruby says Berlusconi 'always' gave her envelopes of cash

Milan, May 13 - Silvio Berlusconi "always" gave her envelopes stuffed with large amounts of cash, Karima El Mahroug, a young Moroccan former nightclub dancer who went by the stage name Ruby, said Friday during the trial of three people accused of pimping for the ex-premier. El Mahroug, testifying at the trials of Emilio Fede, Lele Mora and Nicole Minetti, said that when she first visited Berlusconi's villa in February 2010, he gave her an envelope with between two thousand and three thousand euros. "I was always given an envelope full of money," often in 500-euro bank notes, she testified. The alleged pimps are retired TV anchorman and close Berlusconi friend Fede, bankrupt ex-talent scout Mora and Minetti, an ex-Lombardy regional councillor and the ex-premier's former dental hygienist. The trio are charged with the alleged procurement of prostitutes, including Ruby, who was one year below the legal age for prostitution at the time of the alleged sex parties hosted by Berlusconi in 2010. In the main trial, which is heading for a verdict at the end of this month, a prosecutor has asked for six years in jail and a life ban from public office for the ex-premier. El Mahroug and Berlusconi deny having sex and she says the 4.5 million euros she got from him was a gift. El Mahroug also testified that during that first party at Berlusconi's home, she also told the "story" that she was the daughter of a Brazilian singer and an Egyptian, and that she was also a "relative" of Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak. Berlusconi stands accused of allegedly abusing his power in a bid to have El Mahroug released from jail by arguing that that was necessary to avoid an international incident with Egypt.

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