Model’s suspicious death after sex trial
A Moroccan model who was a key witness in the case against former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and his infamous "bunga bunga" sex parties died earlier this month - and investigators are now looking into whether she was possibly poisoned.
Imane Fadil died on March 1 at a Milan hospital, where she had been exhibiting "symptoms of poisoning", chief prosecutor Francesco Greco said according to the Italian news agency ANSA.
She had been admitted a month earlier with stomach pains but investigators have only just shared news of her death in a bid to ensure her toxicology reports would not be "tampered" with.
"The doctors have not identified with any certainty any pathology which can explain the death," Mr Greco said, adding there were "several anomalies" in her medical records.
Before she died the model reportedly told friends and her lawyer that she had been poisoned.
She'd also expressed fears for her safety after appearing as a key witness against Mr Berlusconi in 2012 when he was accused of paying for sex with an underage prostitute.
In a statement reported by ANSA, the Humanitas hospital said it provided results of toxicological exams to prosecutors when they were completed on March 6.
ANSA also quoted unnamed officials as reportedly stating the tests indicated a "mix of radioactive substances".
While her autopsy results are still pending, there's enough suspicion for a full-blown investigation to have been launched with Imane's lawyers claiming the model's death was not made public sooner so that "no one would try to tamper with the toxicology reports," Business Insider reports.
During Mr Berlusconi's trial in 2012, Imane had told the court one of the parties at his home involved young women, sometimes in pairs, wearing nun's costumes and stripping off while performing raunchy pole dances.
Imane Fadil said Berlusconi paid her 2000 euros - more than $AU3150 - that night.
Now 82, the former prime minister was initially convicted but then acquitted on appeal. He was later convicted of tax fraud and sentenced to carry out community service.
He still faces charges in connection with alleged witness tampering.
Italian media also reported that Imane was writing a book about her experiences, and magistrates investigating her death have obtained a copy of the manuscript.