Witness in Berlusconi's bunga-bunga trial 'poisoned'

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Lady who testified against former minister dies mysteriously

Fadil testified against Berlusconi in 2012, telling a court that young women had stripped for the prime minister at a lavish villa outside Milan while he was serving as Italy's prime minister.

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 3, 2011 file photo, Imane Fadil smiles as she leaves the court in Milan, Italy.

Fadil testified at the 2012 trial of Berlusconi, who was accused of paying for sex with an underage prostitute and was scheduled to give evidence again against Berlusconi over accusations that he offered to buy silence from women who attended his parties and paid other guests to reaffirm that his dinners were innocent.

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Speaking at a political meeting in the southern Basilicata, Berlusconi said he was "sorry when a young person dies". "I never met this person and never spoke to her".

Mr Berlusconi, 82, was initially convicted but then acquitted on appeal.

"What I read about her declarations always made me think that they were contrived and absurd", he said. ANSA quoted unnamed officials as saying the tests indicated a "mix of radioactive substances".

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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. Two weeks later, Fadil was hospitalized.

At the time she told friends and her lawyer that she had been poisoned. Fadil said she had attended eight of these "prostitution parties", also known as "bunga bunga" parties, with some of women said to have engaged in sexual relations with Berlusconi.

Francesco Greco, Milan's chief prosecutor, told Reuters: "Initial medical record checks suggest some form of poisoning so we are having a full autopsy performed". It said it provided the results of her toxicological exams to prosecutors when they were completed on March 6.

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Emails and calls to Humanitas and Greco weren't immediately returned Saturday.

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