Berlusconi named in US human trafficking report

October 31st, 2011 - 6:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 31 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been named in a US government report on human trafficking, over his alleged sexual relationship with an underage Moroccan belly dancer.

Berlusconi, 75, is accused of having sexual relations with Karima El Mahroug, also known as Ruby, during one of his infamous “bunga bunga” parties at his luxurious villa near Milan when the girl was only 17 years old. She is believed to have been one of more than 30 women to attend the parties.

“In February 2011, judges set a trial date for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for the alleged commercial sexual exploitation of a Moroccan child,” the report said.

Based on media reports citing “evidence of third party involvement in the case”, the document’s authors came to the conclusion that “the girl was a victim of trafficking”.

“During the reporting period, the country’s (Italy) prime minister was investigated for facilitating child prostitution,” says the document, published in the US Department of State website.

The annual “Trafficking in Persons Report” is compiled from reports on human trafficking from 180 countries.

Italian opposition lawmakers have described Berlusconi’s inclusion in the report as “another shameful insult” for Italy.

Berlusconi’s trial for underage prostitution will resume in Milan next month. Both he and his alleged victim have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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