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Prosecutors outline Berlusconi case

Prosecutors have claimed that Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi paid for sex with an under-age Moroccan teenager 13 times at his villa near Milan.

A seven-page document filed by prosecutors alleges that the sex-fuelled parties started with dinner, progressed to erotic dancing involving the premier and culminated with Berlusconi's choice of a sex partner, or partners.

Prosecutors have formally closed the investigation and are seeking indictments against the three aides, whom they accuse of identifying possible partners for Berlusconi and informing them of payment and other compensation "that they would have received for their sexual availability".

The premier separately faces trial in Milan on April 6 over charges of under-age prostitution and using his influence to cover it up.

A judge must now decide whether to indict the three aides, and start a separate trial.

Berlusconi has denied all charges, and his lawyers have filed a complaint to Rome prosecutors, saying they feared a set-up. The teenager, Karima el-Mahroug, also has denied having had sex with the premier, and says she has never acted as a prostitute.

Besides el-Mahroug, known by her nickname Ruby, the document identifies 32 other women whom the three aides involved in parties at Berlusconi's residence near Milan.

The prosecutors allege that aides have acted together in a criminal scheme to induce el-Mahroug into prostitution.

The document says that the teenager, now 18 but 17 at the time, "committed sexual acts with Silvio Berlusconi, for payment in cash and other compensation, at his residence" outside of Milan on 13 occasions from February 14 to May 2, 2010.

Paying for sex with a prostitute is not a crime in Italy, but it is if the prostitute is under 18. The age limit was raised from 16 in 2006 during a campaign against under-age prostitution by a previous Berlusconi government.


From Belfast Telegraph