Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with Moroccan dancer Karima el-Mahroug, aka Ruby the Heartstealer, in portrait made of bin bags
A painting called " Silvio & Ruby" made with plastic bags and scotch tape is displayed at the Edward Cutler gallery in Milan (Reuters) Reuters

Young showgirls who took part in the "bunga bunga" parties at the home of Italy's former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, used to dance dressed as sexy nuns or Milan's football player Ronaldinho, witnesses have told a court.

Imane Fadil, a model of Moroccan origin, confirmed that the media tycoon paid for sex with the showgirls, who "did their best to be allowed to pass the night" in his luxury mansion in Arcore.

In the witness box, Fadil revealed some of the goings-on at the infamous parties.

"At one dinner I saw Nicole Minetti and Barbara Fagioli [another guest] dressed in black tunics. They were wearing white headcaps and a crucifix. It was like something out of Sister Act and then they stripped off," she said, according to the Daily Mail.

"I had been standing at the bar [in the villa] having a drink. It was February 2010 and Fagioli had been dancing in the bunga bunga room. Then she disappeared and came back with Minetti. I was completely unprepared for their double act. They took off the nun's habits and were left just in their underwear."

"Another evening I remember some of the girls were wearing AC Milan shirts. One girl, Iris Berardi, was dressed as Ronaldinho, other girls had masks of the players. She danced until she was left just wearing a g-string."

Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with Moroccan-born night-club dancer Karima el Mahroug, dubbed Ruby the Heartstealer, when she was underage.

According to Fadil, Ruby had obtained videos that "would make a mess and jeopardise Silvio Berlusconi".

Prosecutors say he had sex with her 13 times and abused his power to get her out of jail. Ruby denied she had sex with the 75-year-old magnate although she told him she was 24, not 17, her actual age.

Berlusconi admitted he paid some of the witnesses - but said it was merely to "financially assist" them.

"I have nothing to hide," he told the Italian newspaper Il Giornale, which is part of his media empire. "I used bank transfers because the money is transparent, totally traceable.

"All of my guests have had only the fault of having been invited to dinner by the prime minister and have been swept into a colossal media lynching operation.

"Having the means, when I find myself in front of dramatic and touching cases, I don't hesitate to act."

According to The Daily Telegraph, Berlusconi paid more than £127,000 to showgirls Nicole Minetti and sisters Imma and Eleonora De Vivo, who attended his parties.

Minetti, 28, whose mother is British, is on trial on charges of procuring prostitutes for Berlusconi.

He resigned as prime minister in November over Italy's debt crisis.