Berlusconi said to pay off 'Bunga Bunga' witnesses

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Italy Berlusconi

ROME (AP) - An Italian court has accused ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi and his lawyers of tampering with evidence by paying off witnesses in a trial related to his notorious "bunga bunga" parties.

Citing testimony and telephone wiretaps, the Milan court said Berlusconi convened about a dozen young women to his Milan mansion on Jan. 15, 2011 to meet with his lawyers after the women's homes were searched as part of the police investigation into the parties.

From then on, the judges wrote, the women began receiving 2,500 euros each month from Berlusconi and subsequently they offered unusually identical testimony in court denying that the parties had sexual overtones.

The court made the accusation in explaining its decision to convict three of Berlusconi's former associates of procuring girls to prostitute themselves at the parties.

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