Published: Sun, March 17, 2019

Italy opens probe into death of 'bunga bunga' witness

Italy opens probe into death of 'bunga bunga' witness

A Moroccan model who regularly attended former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's raunchy "bunga-bunga" sex parties died this month - and investigators are now probing the case as a possible murder.

Milan prosecutor Francesco Greco said an investigation had been opened following the death on March 1 of Moroccan-born Imane Fadil at one of the city's hospitals.

Berlusconi is already being investigated or prosecuted for witness tampering in Milan, Sienna, Rome and Turin, each time for allegedly paying people to keep quiet about his bunga-bunga parties.

Berlusconi was initially convicted of charges that he paid for sex with an underage woman at the sex-fueled "bunga bunga" parties, and used his influence to cover it up. Before her death, Fadil reportedly told her friends and lawyers that she had been poisoned.

Speaking on Saturday, Mr Berlusconi said: "It's always a pity when a young person dies". News agency ANSA reported that a toxicology test had found that she had been killed by a "mix of radioactive substances". At another party, a woman in her underwear stripped for Berlusconi wearing a mask with the face of footballer Ronaldinho, she said. "I never met this person and never spoke to her". Doctors have yet to identify what caused her death, but said there had been "several anomalies" in her blood samples and medical records.

The former model first hit the headlines in 2012 when she gave detailed testimony about the goings-on at Berlusconi's parties at his villa in Arcore near Milan.

In October 2010, it emerged that Mr Berlusconi had called a police station asking for the release of a 17-year-old girl, Karima "Ruby" El Mahroug.

He said he was aware that she had claimed his gatherings were sex parties, but said such allegations were "invented and absurd".

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