London, Jan 21 (IANS) The court documents giving details about Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's sex parties which involved teenaged girls and prostitutes compare the drunken revelry with bacchanalia.
The Italian prime minister says he has nothing to be ashamed of, and that he has just been having fun, the Telegraph reported here. But the sordid details of his 'bunga bunga' parties provided by prosecutors, investigating allegations of wrongdoing, prostitution and sex with an under-age dancer, read like bacchanalia.
'Compared with Berlusconi, Caligula was a prude,' an opposition politician said, referring to the wild parties organised by ancient Roman emperor Caligula.
The British daily said it has assembled the 389 pages of investigation having a full gallery of skimpily-dressed showgirls named in prosecutors' papers.
'After the meal', a woman on one of hundreds of surveillance tapes says, 'I heard some girls saying 'Let's go down to the bunga bunga (room)', a sort of disco with sofas, a dance pole, a kind of bar and bathrooms where the girls changed into revealing outfits.'
Half-naked starlets are then said to have performed pole dances, put on stripteases and 'wriggled up to the prime minister provocatively on the sofa, rubbing him up and letting him have a feel, indulging in mock lesbian kisses and rubbing against each other'.
Another woman is said to be wandering around topless, repeatedly kissing Berlusconi, the daily said quoting the documents.
One showgirl was ordered to dress up for the 74-year-old prime minister as a nurse. 'You'll have to get a white coat, with nothing on underneath, of course,' she was told. 'Put on a stethoscope, a nurse's uniform and white stay-up stockings. You know how much he likes that sort of thing, playing the patient.'
The women were described unflatteringly by one witness as 'a bunch of idiots who dance like mongols'.
The frenzied organising of the prime minister's courtiers is also revealed in the document, putting together gatherings in Milan, Rome, and on Lake Maggiore.
A faithful lieutenant is taped saying: 'He's on form and raring to go. He's just called me and he is on top form. This is the right evening but who can I find?'
A scramble ensues, and women compete to be at the parties because Berlusconi is viewed, according to one newspaper, as a 'cash machine for which you need no PIN'.
Karima El Mahroug, the girl at the centre of the under-age sex allegations, all denied, is purported to have said that she didn't care who Berlusconi was, as long as 'he's showering me with money'. Another woman confided that if the prime minister reduced the frequency of his parties 'we'd better start stealing stuff from the house'.
'Berlusconi has become a figure of fun,' said Klaus Davi, a media expert. 'He comes across as an old fool at the mercy of these girls and their relatives who use him as a sort of cash machine.'
Berlusconi's counter-attack has ranged across his media empire, with the deployment of ministers, lawyers and other loyalists.
'There's been no graft, no incitement to prostitution, not even of a minor,' Berlusconi earlier this week told Italians himself in a second televised address in three days, and then ominously threatened prosecutors with 'punishment', accusing them of using wire taps against him and his guests as if they were gangsters.
Prosecutors' behaviour, he said, 'cannot go without adequate punishment', and he pledged to rush through legislation to reform the judiciary and to prevent it from pursuing what he describes as politically-motivated witch hunts.