Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has denied any “intimate ties” with underage prostitute Ruby Rubacuori he is charged with.
Speaking at his trial in Milan, Silvio Berlusconi said there were never scenes “of a sexual nature” at his home.
Silvio Berlusconi said the expression “bunga-bunga” to refer to alleged sex parties came from a joke he had used from time to time.
Referring to the charge of abusing his powers to get the girl, nicknamed Ruby, released from police custody, he denied ever having pressured Milan police.
The girl, Moroccan nightclub dancer Karima El-Mahroug, had been arrested for suspected theft.
Silvio Berlusconi, now 76, is accused of paying to have sex with Karima El-Mahroug – who is widely known as Ruby Rubacuori (“heart-stealer”) – in 2010 when she was 17.
In a statement before judges in Milan, he said she was 24 “as she herself said”.
Prosecutors maintain that the former prime minister had sex with Karima El-Mahroug on 13 occasions.
“I have never had any intimate relations with her,” Silvio Berlusconi said.
Karima El-Mahroug has always denied having sex with the prime minister when she was 17 – or being a prostitute.
“I can exclude with absolute certainty that there were ever any scenes of a sexual nature” at his Milan villa, the Italian media mogul and politician said.
Correspondents have promised wire-tap evidence expected to reveal how women were procured for parties at the villa.
The list of 78 witnesses named by Silvio Berlusconi includes Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, Hollywood star George Clooney and his girlfriend, and the Italian model and TV star Elisabetta Canalis.
All are said to have been guests at one of Silvio Berlusconi’s parties.
The former leader told the court on Wednesday that he had hosted dinners where everybody ate together – with him at the centre monopolizing the conversation. There had also been dancing at his children’s discotheque.
Silvio Berlusconi, who resigned over Italy’s economic crisis last November, is said to have urged police officers to release Ruby, allegedly telling them she was a granddaughter of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Referring to the abuse-of-power charge, he said: “I have never exercised pressure on officials of the Milan police.”
“The girl said she was Egyptian, coming from an important family related to Mubarak,” he said.
Silvio Berlusconi added that he had believed her and had telephoned police because he did not want to provoke “a diplomatic incident”, but that the call had been limited to “seeking information”.
Silvio Berlusconi faces up to 15 years in jail if found guilty.