Silvio Berulsconi may have bribed witness to lie

April 19, 2012 at 11:12 AM
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BARI, Italy, April 19 (UPI) -- Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi may have bribed a witness to lie to prosecutors about his alleged sex parties, investigators say.

Berlusconi is on trial for allegedly paying to have sex with underage prostitute Karima "Ruby" El Mahroug at a sex party at his villa outside Milan, and then attempting to cover it up. Investigators suspect he paid off Bari businessman Giampolo Tarantini to lie to magistrates regarding the role Tarantini played in procuring prostitutes for the parties, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Investigators are also investigating Valter Lavitola, former editor of the newspaper L'Avanti!, on suspicion he also convinced Tarantini to lie to magistrates and for alleged corruption and fraud in two other unrelated cases.

Berlusconi also is on trial for the alleged involvement in the publication of an illegally obtained wiretap and alleged fraud involving a subsidiary of his media empire.

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