Italian prosecutors formally ask for Berlusconi's fast-track trial

21:07, February 09, 2011      

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Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attends a session at the Senate in Rome December 14, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

Prosecutors sent their paperwork to a judge in Milan on Wednesday to bring Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to a fast-track trial on charges of abuse of power and underage prostitution, chief prosecutor Edmondo Bruti Liberati said in a statement.

The judge will have at least five working days to decide whether there is enough evidence to warrant the fast-track trial, and to set a court date probably within the next two months.

Berlusconi is alleged to have paid for sex with a Moroccan nightclub dancer nicknamed Ruby who was a minor when they met last year, and abused his power to get her out of police custody where she was held following a theft complaint.

The 74-year-old premier has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the case, saying that he only helped the girl.

In Italy, paying for sex with a prostitute below the age of 18 is an offense punishable with a maximum penalty of three years in jail, while the maximum sentence for abuse of power is 12 years.

Source: Xinhua
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