Model in Berlusconi trial dies, alleging poisoning
The Moroccan-born Imane Fidal was a key witness in a trial in which the tycoon turned populist leader was accused of bribing actresses, models and escorts to lie in court about the alleged sex parties.
The Italian judiciary has opened a murder investigation.
Fidal, 34, died two weeks ago in Milan hospital from chronic organ failure, although the news only emerged yesterday (Friday).
“The doctors have not identified with any certainty any pathology which can explain the death,” Milan’s chief prosecutor, Francesco Greco, said. He added that there were “several anomalies” in Fadil’s medical records.
She reportedly complained of stomach pain and believed she had been poisoned, according to Greco.
Investigators seized as evidence a book that she was writing.
They interviewed Fidal’s brother, who said he was convinced she was poisoned.
Fidal was one of three young women who claimed Berlusconi’s notorious “bunga bunga” parties at his villa outside Milan were gory sex parties.
Around 25 other women have claimed the events were “elegant dinners”.
Prosecutors said the witnesses were paid by Berlusconi to lie under oath. Fadil was never accused of taking bribes.
Berlusconi, 82, who remains head of the right-wing Forza Italia party, was accused of paying for sex with underage escort called “Ruby the Heart Stealer”.
He was convicted and sentenced to seven years in jail.
Fadil testified at the 2012 trial, accusing the media tycoon of paying for sex with the underage girl.
The Moroccan model told the court one of the parties at his home involved young women, sometimes in pairs, wearing nuns’ habits and stripping while pole dancing.
“They started to dance like the nuns of the film Sister Act, and then they took off their clothes,” Fidal said. At another party, a woman in her underwear stripped for Berlusconi wearing a mask with the face of the famously toothy Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho (pictured), she alleged.
But the former prime minister was acquitted on appeal when a judge accepted Berlusconi’s claim he did not know she was under 18.
Fadil expressed incredulity when he was acquitted in 2014.
“From seven years to zero – how is that possible?” she told La Repubblica.
“In Milan, in certain circles, it was often discussed that by going to bed with the prime minister one could earn money.”
An odd choice for a sex mask: Ronaldinho. Picture credit: Wikimedia