Italy: New photos of Berlusconi and naked girls surface

Rome, 16 October (AKI) - New photos of scandal-prone Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and topless women at his villa in the Italian island of Sardinia surfaced on Friday. The five shots include one picture of a topless girl walking with a cigarette in her hand, while another is sunbathing topless.

Two other photos show the premier on a balcony with two other young women, while another is of three other women arriving at an airport and being met by two men.

The snaps were published by Italian daily La Repubblica on its website. The paper said that Colombian photo agency Ecoprensa has in its possession more than 10,000 photos of Berlusconi and girls at the premier's lavish residence, Villa Certosa, in Sardinia.

It is believed Ecoprensa obtained the pictures from Sardinian photographer Antonello Zappadu.

The photos - of which seven were published in June by Spanish daily El Pais - are held by the news agency at its offices in the Colombian capital, Bogota, said La Repubblica.

The pictures published in June by Spanish daily El Pais included one of a topless young woman by a pool and a naked photo allegedly of Mirek Topolanek, a former Czech prime minister.

Most of the shots were taken between 2007 and January 2009 by Zappadu, who tried to sell them to an Italian magazine for 1.5 million euros. However, their publication was blocked in Italy after Berlusconi took legal action to protect his privacy.

Zappadu earlier this year claimed to have 5,000 other "politically embarrassing" pictures.

Ecoprensa said it has had many enquiries about the pictures, according to La Repubblica.

The report said one of Berlusconi's photos might end up in Israel, after a hotel chain in Tel Aviv said it wanted to use the photo of the premier accompanied by girls to promote their hotels.


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