Berlusconi associates convicted on sex charges

Silvio Berlusconi. Picture: Getty
Silvio Berlusconi. Picture: Getty
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Three former aides of Italy’s ex-premier, Silvio Berlusconi, have been convicted of procuring prostitutes for the media mogul’s infamous “bunga bunga” parties.

A Milan court handed down stiff prison terms: seven years to Emilio Fede, a long-time executive in the mogul’s TV networks, seven years to Dario ‘Lele’ Mora, a talent agent, and five years to Nicole Minetti, a former regional politician.

Mr Berlusconi was not on trial in this case, but he was convicted separately last month of paying for sex with a minor and trying to cover it up.

Both he and the young woman, a Moroccan who goes by her stage name Ruby, had denied having sex. The conservative leader contends he is an innocent victim of prosecutors he says are sympathetic to the left.

In that case, Mr Berlusconi was given a seven-year prison term and banned from politics for life. He is expected to launch an appeal.

In Italy, prostitution among adults is legal but exploiting prostitutes is a crime.