Berlusconi Bribed 'Bunga Bunga' Women to Keep Quiet: Court

New probe likely for former Italian PM
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 29, 2013 9:26 AM CST
Silvio Berlusconi pauses as he addresses his supporters during a rally in Rome, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. Ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi is declaring a "day of mourning for democracy" as the Senate voted...   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

(Newser) – Silvio Berlusconi paid women who attended his "bunga bunga" parties to keep silent during a probe, an Italian court says. Amid suspicion over the parties, investigators searched the homes of young women allegedly involved. Afterward, in January 2011, Berlusconi invited the women to talk with his lawyers—and the ladies started getting $3,400 per month from the former PM, an Italian court says. They ended up giving remarkably similar testimonies regarding the parties' innocent nature, the AP reports.

The court's claim came as it found three former Berlusconi associates guilty of procuring women for prostitution at the parties. Now, evidence of the bribery is headed to prosecutors, and a new probe is likely, the court says, per Reuters. It's the latest headache for Berlusconi, who just days ago was expelled from the Italian senate. (Read more Silvio Berlusconi stories.)

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