Italian public prosecutor Francesco Greco has announced that the poisoned Moroccan model Iman Fadil had high levels of metals in her blood.
Rabat – Fadil, who was ready to testify in a “bunga bunga” bribery case, fell ill at the end of January and died on March 1.
Postmortem tests on Fadil’s blood revealed a high concentration of cadmium and antimony, suggesting that she did not die of natural causes, Greco said on Monday, March 18.
Partial results also showed that Fadil had radioactive elements in her body.
The model’s “antimony levels were almost three times normal and the cadmium was almost seven times higher than the normal range,” Greco told Italian news agency, ANSA. He added that prosecutors are still awaiting “definitive autopsy results.”
Cadmium is a hazardous heavy metal frequently used in industrial activities. It can be used in the production of alloys, pigments, and batteries.
Eating or drinking water with high levels of cadmium or breathing air with very high levels of the metal element can severely damage the lungs and cause death. Swallowing small amounts of cadmium can cause vomiting, diarrhea, joint pains, and even organ failure.
Before her death, Fadil said that she had been poisoned and felt strange in her system. She was admitted to a hospital in February.
Fadil’s brother and lawyer later revealed that she died “after a month of agony.”
Fadil was due to testify in a case against former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at his “bunga-bunga trial” also known as the “Ruby affair.”
Italian courts had charged Berlusconi with having paid for sex with an underage Moroccan exotic dancer and sex worker, Karima El Mahroug, also known as Ruby the Heartstealer, between February and May 2010. He was eventually found not guilty after judges ruled that he could not have known her real age.
In January 2017, an Italian court ordered Berlusconi to stand trial on charges of bribing witnesses with $11 million to silence them. He was convicted, sentenced to seven years in prison, and banned from holding elected office.
An appeals court overturned Berlusconi’s conviction in 2014, making him eligible again to hold elected office.
Reacting to Fadil’s statements about being poisoned, Berlusconi told the BBC: “It’s always a pity when a young person dies. I never met this person, never talked to her….What I read of her statements made me think that everything was invented, absurd.”
Berlusconi is still facing several charges including bribery.