Skip to main site content.
Imane Fadil
Imane Fadil


Investigation launched into death of model who testified against former Italian PM

By WITW Staff on March 18, 2019

Italian authorities have launched an investigation into the death of 33-year-old Imane Fadil, a Moroccan model who provided key testimony in the 2012 trial of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was accused of paying an underage girl for sex.

Fadil died on March 1, one month after she was admitted to a hospital in Milan for severe stomach pains. According to the Guardian, she told her lawyer and her friends that she had been poisoned.

“The doctors have not identified with any certainty any pathology which can explain the death,” Francesco Greco, Milan’s chief prosecutor, told Reuters. He also noted that there were “several anomalies” in Fadil’s medical records.

Corriere della Sera, an Italian daily newspaper, has reported that in the wake of Fadil’s mysterious death, the hospital sent samples to a specialist lab and the results suggested “the presence of a mixture of radioactive substances which are not normally available for purchase.”

Fadil was reportedly a regular guest at Berlusconi’s notorious “bunga-bunga” sex parties. In 2009, Italian papers began publishing photos of young women attending the soirees, and in 2010, authorities began investigating his connections to a 17-year-old nightclub dancer named Karima el-Mahroug. Ultimately, Berlusconi was charged with paying her for sex. During the trial against him, Fadil provided lurid details of the parties. Prior to her death, she was reportedly writing a book about the experience.

Though Berlusconi was found guilty in June 2013, he won an appeal against his conviction in 2014. According to Agence France-Presse, however, he is now being “investigated or prosecuted” for witness tampering, having allegedly paid witnesses in multiple Italian cities to not provide testimony about his bunga-bunga parties. Fadil had not been accused of accepting bribes.

Berlusconi has denied any connection to Fadil. “It’s always a pity when a young person dies,” he said, according to the BBC. “I never met this person, never talked to her.”

Read more at BBC News.


Italy may become 1st Western country to offer women paid menstrual leave

Italy’s ‘Fertility Day’ campaign provokes angry response from women

Italy’s newly legal same-sex unions ‘a victory with a hole in the heart’