Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Lady who testified against former minister dies mysteriously

Imane Fadil in 2011 Enlarge Image Imane Fadil in 2011 AP
Steven Clarke | 17 March, 2019, 01:42

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has expressed his condolences for Fadil, who died on March 1 after a month-long illness, but insisted that he never met or spoke to the former showgirl. He was ultimately acquitted by Italy's highest court in 2015. Later, she said he himself handed her €2,000 ($2,300 at current rates) in cash, telling her: "Don't be offended". Berlusconi was initially found guilty and sentenced to seven years in prison, but the charges against him were dropped after an appeals court ruled that even if he did have sexual relations with the teenager, he did not know that she was under 18.

Speaking at a political meeting in the southern Basilicata, Berlusconi said he was "sorry when a young person dies".

"What I read about her declarations always made me think that they were contrived and absurd", he said. Citing Milan prosecutor Francesco Greco, Italian news agency ANSA reported that Imane Fadil died March 1 at a Milan hospital, where she had been treated since January 29 exhibiting "symptoms of poisoning".

Fadil, who had reportedly wanted to be a television sportscaster, argued that she had suffered from lost opportunities because of her involvement in the cases.

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Milan chief prosecutor Francesco Greco told Reuters news agency there were "several anomalies" in Ms Fadil's medical records.

Ms Fadil was writing a book about her experiences and magistrates investigating her death have obtained a copy of the manuscript, Italian newspapers report.

Before her death, the model told both her brother and her lawyer that she had been poisoned and magistrates said that she possessed symptoms seen in poisoning victims. "She died after a month of agony".

In a statement reported by ANSA, Humanitas said it provided the results of toxicological exams to prosecutors when they were completed March 6.

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