Berlusconi scandal: Official 'offered bribe' to alter birthday

According to Italian newspaper 'Il Fatto Quotidiano', the Moroccan registry official was promised "a large amount of money" to change the birth date of Karima El Mahroug known as Ruby the Heart Stealer.

The unidentified Moroccan woman official told the newspaper that she was approached on February 7 by three men -- two Italians and a Moroccan -- in her office in the town of Fkih Ben Salah in central Morocco, where El Mahroug was born; they asked her if she could backdate the nightclub dancer's birth certificate by two years, 'The Daily Telegraph' said.
The Italian newspaper also printed on its front page a photograph of what it said was El Mahroug's birth certificate, on which her date of birth is recorded as November 1, 1992 -- which means she was 17 when she allegedly had sex with the PM at his mansion in Milan between February and May last year.

Berlusconi will face trial on April 6 for allegedly paying for sex with El Mahroug when she was 17 and allegedly working as a prostitute. Having sex with a underage prostitute is a crime in Italy carrying a penalty of three years in jail.

But if the Prime Minister's lawyers could prove that the teenager was above 18, then the underage prostitution allegation would be dismissed.

Lawyers for Berlusconi, however, said the claims were "laughable", but the opposition parties have demanded that an urgent investigation be launched into the allegations.

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