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Berlusconi associate arrested

April 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM   |   Comments

MILAN, Italy, April 16 (UPI) -- A fugitive associate of former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi who lived in South America for six months has been arrested in Naples, Italian officials said.

Valter Lavitola was arrested when he returned to Italy from Argentina where he had been living for six months as a fugitive.

Lavitola, the former editor of daily newspaper L'Avanti!, had been sought by Italian authorities investigating the alleged involvement of prostitutes at parties at Berlusconi's homes, Italian news agency ANSA reported Monday.

He is accused of lying to magistrates and inducing businessman Giampaolo Tarantini to lie in testimony concerning Tarantini's role in providing prostitutes for "bunga bunga" parties thrown by Berlusconi, who is on trial for abuse of power and paying for sex with an underage nightclub dancer.

Model Imane Fadil testified Monday she had gone to several "bunga bunga" parties at the Berlusconi villa near Milan. During the first one she attended in February 2010, she witnessed two women dressed as nuns dancing together.

"We were standing, we were taking a drink at the bar," Fadil said. The [showgirl Barbara] Beans in the room was doing a performance of 'bunga bunga.' After 10 minutes disappeared with [Regional Councilor Nicole] Minetti, then presented with a black robe, a cross and a white headdress and did a performance that I would never have expected. The 'Sister Act,' then they danced, they [wiggled] and took off the robe, remaining only [in their underwear]," Fadil testified.

Fadil said later that night Berlusconi took her into his office and handed her an envelope.

"I took it and inside were 2,000 euros in cash," she said.

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