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Paper prints alleged Berlusconi party pics

  • Story Highlights
  • Spain's El Pais publishes alleged photos of racy parties at Silvio Berlusconi's villa
  • Photos blocked from use in Italy by judicial order after Berlusconi privacy complaint
  • Photos feature scantily clad women -- though not in same photo as Italian PM
By Al Goodman
CNN Madrid Bureau Chief
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MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- A Spanish newspaper Friday published what it said are five exclusive photographs of racy parties at Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's villa on the island of Sardinia.

The photos were blocked from use in Italy by a judicial order after Berlusconi complained of invasion of privacy.

Under the front-page headline "The photographs that Berlusconi doesn't want the Italians to see," the newspaper, El Pais, printed one photo on its cover and the others on inside pages. The five photos also appear on the El Pais Web site.

All of the faces of the people in the photos, except for a fully clothed Berlusconi, are pixilated, concealing their identities. One of the photos shows scantily clad women; that photo does not include Berlusconi.

El Pais said the photos were taken by Italian Antonello Zappadu, 51, and that he, not the newspaper, did the pixilation.

El Pais said Zappadu tried to sell the photographs to the Italian magazine Panorama, which is part of Berlusconi's media empire. But Berlusconi managed to block their publication in the magazine and across Italy.

Some Italian media on Friday, on their Web sites, showed the photos in the context of the El Pais report.

Italian media reports said Berlusconi's lawyer vowed to seek legal recourse in Spain.

The photo controversy and the parties are tied to the issue of complaints about Berlusconi's alleged use of official Italian aircraft to transport his guests to his villa, El Pais said.

Berlusconi has denied any wrongdoing in the use of official Italian aircraft.

Efforts by CNN to reach Berlusconi's attorney were unsuccessful Friday.

CNN's Hada Messiah contributed to this report.

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