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Berlusconi appears at vice trial

Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi is making a rare appearance at his trial in Milan to face charges he paid for sex with an under-age prostitute and then used his office to try to cover it up.

The media mogul made no remarks to reporters as he entered the courthouse. He denies all wrongdoing.

A Milan police official is testifying over the prosecution's contention that Berlusconi told authorities the Moroccan prostitute, then aged 17, was related to former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

The young woman, who uses the stage name Ruby the Heart Stealer, has denied having sex with Berlusconi. She attended Berlusconi's private evening gatherings, known as "bunga bunga" parties.

Prostitution is legal in Italy, but paying for sex with a minor is a crime.

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