London, Oct 30 (ANI): A 17-year-old Moroccan model, Karima Keyek, has said 'sorry' over a sex scandal, as Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi faced calls for his resignation.
Berlusconi and Ruby, the Moroccan belly dancer who has apologised Keyek, previously identified only by her stage name of "Ruby", said she "felt bad" over the affair and had removed herself from Facebook, where she had called herself Ruby Rubacuore - Ruby the Heartbreaker.
"I'm sorry for everything that has happened," the Telegraph quoted her as saying from an undisclosed location near Genoa, where she is staying in a women's shelter.
"Above all I'm sorry because I've involved people who just wanted to help me and never asked for anything in return," she added.
Her lawyer, Luca Giuliante, said: "She needs to be left alone because she is a very young girl involved in an affair that is much bigger than her."
Berlusconi, 74, was accused of a gross abuse of power over reports that his staff ordered police in Milan to release the teenager when she was accused in May of stealing money and valuables from a female acquaintance.
Officials in Milan confirmed that they had received a call from Palazzo Chigi, Berlusconi's office in Rome, around midnight on May 27, when Keyek was being questioned about the alleged theft.
Berlusconi appeared to confirm the claim, saying: "I'm a kind hearted person. I like to give help to people who are in need of it."
Questioned again, he said: "There was just a call made to find someone to take custody of a person that we all felt sorry for because she had told everyone a dramatic story that we gave credit to."
Opposition MPs and media commentators said that in any other Western democracy, such an interference in the judicial process would have forced a leader to step down.
"In any other country, a prime minister who telephones a police station (to intervene in a criminal case) would have immediately had to resign," said Dario Franceschini, a senior member of the main opposition Democratic Party.
Michele Ventura, the deputy head of the party, said: "The government must address parliament and explain whether, as the media says, there was pressure put on police to release Ruby."
Berlusconi's lawyers have strongly denied any suggestion that he had sexual relations with the teenager.(ANI)