Berlsuconi ‘paid off bunga bunga sex party witnesses’

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An Italian court has accused ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi and his lawyers of tampering with evidence by paying off witnesses in a trial related to his notorious “bunga bunga” parties.

Citing testimony and wiretaps, the court said Mr Berlusconi gathered a dozen young women at his Milan mansion in January 2011 to meet his lawyers after the women’s homes were searched as part of an investigation into the parties.

From then on, the judges wrote, the women began receiving 2,500 euros (£2,080) each month from Mr Berlusconi and subsequently they offered unusually identical testimony in court denying that the parties had sexual overtones.

The Milan court made the accusation in explaining its decision to convict three of Mr Berlusconi’s former associates of procuring girls to prostitute themselves at the parties.