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George and Cristiano star in Berlusconi witness list

24 NOVEMBER 2011

With a cast including showgirls, a chiselled athlete, and the most handsome man in Hollywood, it sounds like a sure fire box-office winner.

In fact, it's a far more serious matter – the trial of Italy's former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, on vice charges and abuse of office.

George Clooney and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo are among more than 200 witnesses called to give evidence in a Milan court from December 2.

 

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Others include former Formula One team boss Flavio Briatore and the former glamour model who was Mr Berlusconi's equal opportunities minister, Mara Carfagna.

The prosecution also wants to hear from Karima el-Mahroug, also known by her stage name "Ruby the Heart Breaker", the Moroccan teenager who is alleged to have had sex with the politician in exchange for money.

She has since denied having a sexual relationship with the 75-year-old. 

 

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George has said he was approached by the defendant's team to give evidence about so-called "bunga bunga" parties at his villas.

Mr Berlusconi's lawyers want him to "dismantle" the teenager's account and undermine her credibility as a witness – Ruby originally claimed she dined at the leader's palazzo with the Hollywood star.

Interviewed in October, the actor said he'd visited the premier's residence only once to seek aid for Darfur and it turned into "one of the more astonishing evenings of my life".

He declined an invitation to stay.

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