Martedì, 16 Ottobre 2018

Ruby fails to show in court at Berlusconi trial


Milan, December 10 - The young Moroccan woman at
the centre of a sex scandal that has put Italian ex-premier
Silvio Berlusconi on trial failed to show up to testify on
Monday, and provided no documentation to explain her absence.
The lawyer for Karima 'Ruby' El Mahroug, the underage
Moroccan runaway, nightclub dancer and alleged prostitute the
ex-premier is accused of having sex with, told presiding judges
that her client was out of the country and that she did not know
when she would be available to testify.
"I tried to get in touch with the girl, but her cell phone
is off, as is her boyfriend's. She sent me an SMS saying she is
abroad, but I do not have documentation of this trip and I don't
know when she will return," lawyer Paola Boccardi explained.
Prosecutor Ilda Boccassini asked the presiding judges to
remove El Mahroug as a witness and accused Berlusconi's defense
lawyers, Niccolo' Ghedini and Piero Longo, of orchestrating
Ruby's absence for political purposes.
"This absence is not documented...This is a strategy to
prolong the trial time to reach the electoral campaign,"
Boccassini declared.
Berlusconi announced over the weekend that he would run
once more for premier on a centre-right ticket, after his People
of Freedom Party (PdL) threw the current technical government
into crisis last week and triggered early elections.
Ghedini called the accusation "intolerable" and "an attack
on the defense".
"I have known the strategies of the defense for defendant
Berlusconi for a long time," replied Boccassini, who has
complained in the past about defense witnesses' failure to show
up over the course of the trial.
The trial judges ruled in the defense's favor to again
summon Ruby to the witness stand on December 17, arguing that
her testimony is "neither superfluous nor irrelevant".
In the meantime, court police will attempt to determine her
Boccardi said she did not know if Ruby could be present on
December 17.

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