16:06 GMT +320 March 2019
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    Imane Fadil

    Italy Probes Death of Model Who Testified in Berlusconi Sex Trial - Reports

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    The model told the court in 2012 that young women stripped for Berlusconi at his plush villa near Milan while he was still Italy's prime minister. She claimed that she did not have sex with him, but that those who did received significant sums of cash.

    Italian magistrates have launched an investigation into the possible murder of a showgirl who was one of the key witnesses in a prostitution case against former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

    Imane Fadil, 34, a Moroccan model who claimed to have attended eight of the notorious "bunga bunga" soirées, died in a Milan hospital on 1 March after a "month of agony".

    Fadil was taken to hospital on 29 January with severe stomach pains that had caused her to vomit; she reportedly told her friends and lawyers that she had been poisoned.

    "The doctors have not identified with any certainty any pathology which can explain the death," Milan's chief prosecutor told Reuters, adding that there were "several anomalies" in her blood samples and medical records.

    However, according to Italian news agency Ansa, toxicological tests revealed that she had died of a "mix of radioactive substances".

    Investigators are said to have obtained a book the model was writing about her experiences.

    Fadil testified at Berlusconi's 2012 trial, where he was accused of hosting 'prostitution parties' at his villa in Arcore near Milan. She said that young women dressed as nuns had performed stripteases for a fee and told that they would receive even more if they agreed to have sex with the prime minister.

    Berlusconi was accused of having sex with a teenage night-club dancer known under the stage name Ruby Rubacuori. He was also charged with abusing his power in a bid to conceal his connection with Ruby.

    The media mogul admitted that young women did attend his parties, but said they were nothing but "burlesque contests". He also insisted that Ruby, who was 17 when she attended his parties, told him she was 24 years old.

    He was initially found guilty and sentenced to 7 years in prison, but eventually cleared of all charges by an appeal court which ruled that even if he did have sex with Ruby, he did not know she was under 18.

    He has since faced charges of bribing witnesses to give false testimony in the underage prostitution trial.

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    Tags:
    bunga bunga, model, sex scandal, investigation, death, Ruby Rubacuori, Imane Fadil, Silvio Berlusconi, Italy
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