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Prosecutors say 2nd minor stayed at Berlusconi's homes

By the CNN Wire Staff
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has characterized accusations that he paid for sex as political mudslinging.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has characterized accusations that he paid for sex as political mudslinging.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Prosecutors are investigating allegations that prime minister paid for sex with a minor
  • The initial investigation involves a nightclub dancer who was 17 at the time
  • The second girl was also 17 when she was at the premier's homes, prosecutors say
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Rome (CNN) -- Prosecutors in Milan allege that a second underage girl was at Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's private residences on more than one occasion, according to a 227-page court document submitted to a parliament commission Wednesday.

The document identifies the girl as Iris Berardi, a Brazilian, and says her phone records put her at Berlusconi's homes in Sardegna on November 21, 2009, and in Milan on December 13, 2009.

The prosecutors are investigating claims that Berlusconi paid for sex with nightclub dancer Karima El Mahrough, who was 17 at the time of the alleged activity, and say three of his associates -- Nicole Minetti, Emilio Fede and Lele Mora -- helped arrange liaisons for him. Berardi was just a few weeks shy of her 18th birthday when she was at Berlusconi's homes, authorities say.

Paying for sex is not illegal in Italy, but paying a minor for sex is.

The government's website says Berlusconi was in Saudi Arabia on November 21, when Berardi was allegedly at his Sardegna home, and in Qatar the next day. But Berlusconi was in Milan on December 13 attending a political rally. In fact, he spent that evening in a hospital after a man hit him in the face with a replica of the city's Duomo cathedral. Berlusconi suffered two broken teeth and a broken nose.

The document was submitted to the parliament commission in support of prosecutors' request to search the offices of a Berlusconi employee who they believe paid for prostitutes for the premier. But the panel voted 11-8 to send the document -- and another nearly 400 pages long -- back to the prosecutors, saying they should present their case to a special tribunal for ministers because a second allegation, that of abuse of power, concerns his official duties.

Milan prosecutors started the investigation in December after Berlusconi called police and urged them to release El Mahrough, nicknamed Ruby, from jail, where she was being held on charges of theft.

Prosecutors say the activity took place from February until May. Both she and Berlusconi have denied they ever had sex.

El Mahrough said that she did not know Berlusconi well but that she did receive 7,000 euros (about $9,300) from him the first time they met, on Valentine's Day 2010, because a friend told Berlusconi she needed help.

The prime minister has characterized the allegations against him as political mudslinging.

Berlusconi's attorneys have called the investigation "absurd and groundless" and a "grave interference" in his private life. They have not responded to CNN's requests for comment about the latest document from the prosecutors, although they told Italian media they have not seen the document.

CNN's Hada Messia contributed to this report.

 
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