Milan

Three women helped to spring her from jail, says Ruby

Ex-dancer testifies at trial of alleged pimps for premier

Three women helped to spring her from jail, says Ruby

Milan, May 17 - Three women helped to release her from police custody in May 2010, the former exotic dancer Ruby testified Friday. Karima El Mahroug, who went by the stage name Ruby, said that when she was being held at a Milan police station on the night of May 27, Nicole Minetti, Michelle Conceicao and Miriam Loddo came to help. Minetti is one of three people on trial for pimping. Conceicao told her not to be afraid, "we will do everything to get you back in the community," El Mahroug told the trial of retired TV anchorman and close Berlusconi friend Emilio Fede, bankrupt ex-talent scout Lele 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. As well as facing a year in jail for sex with an alleged under-aged prostitute, Berlusconi could be sentenced to a further five years for abusing his position as premier to spring Ruby from the Milan police station, supposedly to avoid a diplomatic incident with Egypt. He has stated he genuinely believed at the time that El Mahroug was Mubarak's niece, as she had told him. That claim was backed by parliament when it voted to put the case to the Constitutional Court. Prosecutors argue he was trying to hush up the affair.

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