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Italian Call Girl Ring Linked to G8 Summit

Thursday, 11 Mar 2010 10:47 PM


ROME - A prostitution ring linked to alleged corruption in the awarding of public works contracts for the G8 summit in Italy involved as many as 350 women, investigating magistrates said yesterday.

The apparent scale of the “sex for favours” affair, which was previously said to involve three or four women, is a further blow to the centre-Right Government of Silvio Berlusconi.

Investigators said that they had intercepted telephone calls and uncovered other evidence which proved that the women involved in the G8 corruption investigation — including Russians, Ukrainians, Venezuelans, Brazilians and Cubans as well as Italians — had been paid about €700 (£640) for encounters at private parties and apartments across Italy, with some charging €5,000.

The call girls were allegedly supplied to public works officials by businessmen bidding for lucrative contracts linked to the G8 summit, including allegedly Diego Anemone, a Rome building contractor, who is under arrest on suspicion of corruption.

Mr Berlusconi initially planned the G8 summit for Sardinia, where a summit complex was erected at a cost of €600 million. He later moved the venue to L’Aquila to express solidarity with the victims of the Abruzzo earthquake last April, at a further cost of €327 million.

The planning was entrusted to Guido Bertolaso, head of the Civil Protection Agency and the Prime Minister’s right-hand man, who was placed under investigation last month after magistrates said tapped phone conversations suggested that he had received sexual favours disguised as massages at a Rome health and sports centre. Mr Bertolaso has vigorously denied this, saying that he only had physiotherapy for a bad back.

Last weekend Mr Bertolaso, who became a national hero over the Abruzzo earthquake rescue effort and earlier oversaw crowd control for John Paul II’s funeral in 2005, was granted an audience with Pope Benedict XVI, who thanked him for his public service.

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2010-47-11
Thursday, 11 Mar 2010 10:47 PM
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