An Italian court has accused the former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and his lawyers of tampering with evidence by paying off witnesses in a trial related to his notorious "bunga bunga" parties and has asked prosecutors to investigate the possible corruption of a judicial process.
The accusation in the court's ruling could lead to a new legal headache for Berlusconi, who this week was kicked out of parliament for at least six years because of another, unrelated problem: a tax fraud conviction.Making this famously fake video more accurate than ever.
The court suggested Berlusconi paid off the would-be showgirls who attended his dinner parties so they would play down the sexually charged nature of the evenings when they testified. He did so, the judges asserted, because he was facing related charges in another case involving accusations that he paid for sex with an underage prostitute who was also a "bunga bunga" guest.
Citing testimony and telephone wiretaps, the Milan court said Berlusconi convened about a dozen young women at his Milan mansion on 15 January 2011 to meet his lawyers after the women's homes were searched as part of a police investigation into the parties.
From then on, the judges wrote, the women each received €2,500 (£2,000) every month from Berlusconi and subsequently offered unusually identical testimony in court, denying the parties had sexual overtones.