Wednesday, April 27, 2011

George Clooney and Cristiano Ronaldo named as witnesses in Berlusconi trial

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid - CR9 - PhotosRONALDO

George Clooney and Cristiano Ronaldo named as witnesses in Berlusconi trial

Hollywood actor and footballer could be called to give evidence when Italian prime minister answers 'bunga bunga' charges

and Cristiano Ronaldo may be called to testify in defence of Silvio Berlusconi when he stands trial on charges of underage prostitution.

The Italian prime minister's lawyers have submitted a list of 78 witnesses they intend to call at Berlusconis Trial, including Italian government ministers, the Italian news agency Ansa reported.

They have also called Karima El Mahroug, known as Ruby, the Moroccan runaway who was 17 when she allegedly attended sex parties held by Berlusconi.
Prosecutors deposited their own list of 132 witnesses, which also includes Mahroug and 32 other women they believe attended bunga bunga parties at Berlusconi's mansion near Milan in 2010.

Prosecutors are likely to ask Mahroug about Berlusconi's parties and the gifts of cash and jewellery she reportedly received from him.

Defence lawyers seeking to undermine Mahroug's credibility may question her about claims she made to investigators that Clooney was present at a dinner she attended at Berlusconi's mansion. Clooney's Italian girlfriend, Elisabetta Canalis, has already told investigators that neither she nor Clooney attended a dinner at the mansion.

Mahroug, who has given widely conflicting accounts of her past, also told investigators she was paid for sex by footballer Ronaldo, a claim denied by Ronaldo. The trial judges will decide which witnesses to admit.

Berlusconi is also on trial for pressuring Milan police to release Mahroug from custody when she was arrested on suspicion of theft last year. Berlusconi told officers Mahroug could be a relative of the then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

Officers who released of Mahroug will be called for the prosecution.

The prosecution will also call Nicole Minetti, a regional politician and habitué of Berlusconi's parties, showbusiness agent Lele Mora and TV presenter Emilio Fede, who are likely to stand trial separately charged with procuring prostitutes for Berlusconi, 74.

The defence, which claims Berlusconi's dinners were sober affairs, will call Mara Carfagna, a topless model turned government minister in the Berlusconi administration, who attended a dinner


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