Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi Named in US State Dep’t. Human Trafficking Report
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been named in the U.S. State Department’s annual list of people involved in human trafficking. According to The Telegraph, his inclusion on the list is a result of his alleged procurement of an underage prostitute.
The scandal involving Berlusconi, a 17-year-old Moroccan belly dancer nicknamed “Ruby the Heartstealer,” and lurid “bunga bunga parties” at the Prime Minister’s opulent Arcore villa is well-known in every corner of the world. The 75-year-old billionaire-politician’s libertinage has landed him in criminal court. It has also made Italy a laughing stock. Now, it’s landed Berlusconi on the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons 2011 report.
From that report:
“In February 2011, judges set a trial date for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for the alleged commercial sexual exploitation of a Moroccan child, media reports include evidence of third-party involvement in the case, indicating the girl was a victim of trafficking… During the reporting period, [Berlusconi] was investigated for facilitating child prostitution.”
Indeed, Berlusconi’s trial for underage prostitution will resume next month in Milan. He also stands accused of abuse of office.
The inclusion of the country’s head of state in the American report has caused outrage in Italy– not at the U.S., but rather at the man who has brought so much embarrassment to the nation. Opposition lawmakers called this latest blow “another shameful insult” for Italy.
The State Department compiles the ‘Trafficking in Persons’ report each year, detailing the human trafficking situation in some 180 different countries.
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