Ruby fails to show up in court at Berlusconi trial

Published: Dec 11, 2012, 07:12 IST | Agencies

The key witness at the centre of a sex scandal that put the Italian ex-PM on trial cannot be contacted; prosecutor accuses defence of delaying the case

Ruby the heart-stealer, the go-go dancer who was due to appear as a defence witness in the ‘bunga-bunga’ trial of former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, has disappeared.

The attorney for Ruby, whose real name is Karima el-Mahroug, told the court in Milan that she was abroad and could not be contacted.


In the spotlight: Karima el-Mahroug aka Ruby the heart stealer

Prosecutor Ilda Boccassini said the witness’s absence wasnot justified and asked the court to instruct detectives to findher.

Boccassini accused Berlusconi’s lawers of hijacking the trial. “I do not believe in what the defence lawyer said,” Boccassini argued. “It’s just a strategy to postpone the trial to the beginning of the electoral campaign.”

Berlusconi’s lawyer, Niccolo Ghedini, in turn said the prosecutors were trying to hasten a verdict before the election. “It is the magistrates who have started the election campaign.”

The judge ordered police to search for el-Mahroug ‘throughout the national territory’ and the trial was adjourned to December 17.
 

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