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Hall of shame! Italy PM on US human trafficking report

Last updated on: October 31, 2011 16:33 IST

Hall of shame! Italy PM on US human trafficking report

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There is more embarrassment for Silvio Berlusconi, with a United States report on human trafficking naming the Italian prime minister as a result of his alleged sexual relationship with a Moroccan-born underage prostitute.

The 75-year-old Italian premier is currently facing trial in Milan for allegedly having sex with belly dancer Karima El Mahroug, also known as 'Ruby the Heart Stealer', at one of the evening parties he had hosted at his lavish villa, and at the time she was just 17 years old. Both deny any wrong-doing.

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Image: Italy PM Silvio Berlusconi

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But, it has now emerged that Berlusconi was named in this year's US State Department's Trafficking in Persons 2011 report which details the parties and describes how one of the guests was a minor, The Daily Telegraph online reported.

"In February 2011, judges set a trial date for PM Silvio Berlusconi for the alleged commercial sexual exploitation of a Moroccan child, media reports include indicate evidence of third party involvement in the case, indicating the girl was a victim of trafficking," the US report said.


Image: Teenage nightclub dancer Karima El Mahroug of Morocco poses during a photocall at the Karma disco in Milan
Photographs: Reuters
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Hall of shame! Italy PM on US human trafficking report

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The State Department report adds, "During the reporting period, the country's (Italy) prime minister was investigated for facilitating child prostitution."

Prosecutors in Milan have charged three of Berlusconi's closest friends with procuring prostitutes for his parties and this relates to presence of El Mahroug at the parties, which were held at his lavish villa at Arcore near Milan.


Image: El Mahroug of Morocco poses for photographers in a hotel
Photographs: Reuters
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The US State Department report is put together every year and draws from reports from 180 countries across the world as well as non-governmental organisations who help compile case histories and investigations detailed in the document.


Image: A man unwraps a painting called "Silvio & Ruby" made with plastic bags and scotch tape by Israeli artist Dodi Reifenberg at the Edward Cutler gallery in Milan
Photographs: Reuters
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