An Italian court has accused ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and his lawyers of tampering with evidence by paying off witnesses in a trial over his notorious "bunga bunga" parties. It sent documentation to prosecutors to investigate possible corruption of the judicial process. Berlusconi's lawyers immediately rejected the accusation and said they expected prosecutors would drop the case. If prosecutors go ahead, the accusation in the court's ruling would lead to a new legal headache for Berlusconi, who this week was kicked out of Parliament for at least six years after an unrelated tax fraud conviction. The court suggested Berlusconi paid off the would-be show girls who attended his parties to downplay the sexually charged nature of the evenings in testimony. He did so, the judges suggested, as he was facing related charges in another case involving accusations he paid for sex with an underage prostitute who was also a "bunga bunga" guest. Citing testimony and telephone wiretaps, the Milan court said Berlusconi convened about a dozen of these young women to come to his Milan mansion on January 15, 2011 to meet lawyers. They were summoned after the women's homes were searched as part of the police investigation. From then on, the judges wrote, the women began receiving €2,500 (HK$26,400) apiece each month from Berlusconi. They subsequently offered near-identical testimony denying the parties had sexual overtones. The amount is about twice the average monthly wage in Italy. Berlusconi has defended the payments to the girls, saying it was his nature to try to help people in need. Most of the women were hoping to get jobs with Berlusconi's television channels. Many lived in apartments owned by Berlusconi, wore jewellery from him and some drove cars he gave them. Berlusconi's lawyers said there was "no connection whatsoever" between the January 2011 meeting and the payments, which they said only began in March last year. They predicted that prosecutors, who had all this evidence earlier and did not press charges, would drop the case.