A model who was a witness in Silvio Berlusconi’s “bunga bunga" sex parties trial in 2012 had high levels of heavy metals cadmium and antimony in her body when she died under mysterious circumstances this month, Italian prosecutors said Monday.
Imane Fadil, 34, had a level of cadmium — generally found in batteries or nuclear reactors — in her blood that was seven times higher than the norm, Milan prosecutor Francesco Greco said Monday, according to the Telegraph. The level of antimony — a heavy metal used in batteries, paint, ammunition, glass and plastic — in her body was three times higher than the norm.
Greco said officials were taking extra precautionary steps because they fear Fadil was exposed to radioactive substances. The prosecutor said although authorities believe Fadil may have been poisoned, they are not ruling out the possibility that she may have died of a rare disease.
Fadil was admitted to a Milan-area hospital in late January after exhibiting “symptoms of poisoning.” She reportedly also told her lawyer and family that she feared she had been poisoned before her death on March 1.
The Moroccan model was afraid for her safety ever since she testified in 2012 against the former Italian prime minister, who was accused of paying for sex with an underage woman at sex-fueled “bunga bunga” parties and wielding his power in an attempt to cover it up.
Berlusconi was found guilty, but the conviction was overturned on an appeal.
He was ultimately convicted on tax fraud charges and sentenced to community service. He still faces charges in connection with alleged witness tampering.
On Saturday, Berlusconi denied knowing Fadil but said it was always sad when a young person died.
"I've never known this person and never spoke to her. What I read were her declarations that made me always think these were always invented and absurd things,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.