Prosecutors Call for Berlusconi Sex Trial

Judge asked to grant fast-track trial

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 9, 2011 5:08 AM CST | Updated Feb 9, 2011 7:32 AM CST

(Newser) – Italian prosecutors have filed a request for Premier Silvio Berlusconi to stand trial for alleged abuse of power and sex with an underage prostitute. Authorities are seeking an immediate trial. A judge now has five days to decide whether to indict the 74-year-old leader or dismiss the request, allowing investigations to continue, the AP reports.

Prosecutors allege that Berlusconi paid for sex with nightclub dancer Karima El Mahrough—nicknamed Ruby Heartstealer—and then used his influence to have the 17-year-old girl released from prison after she was arrested for theft. Berlusconi's party claims that when he had the girl released from prison, he believed she was the niece of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, and was attempting to avoid a diplomatic crisis.

A demonstrator wears a mock mask of Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, dressed as a pink rabbit with handcuffs during a protest outside Berlusconi's private residence.
A demonstrator wears a mock mask of Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, dressed as a pink rabbit with handcuffs during a protest outside Berlusconi's private residence.   (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi gestures as he delivers a speech at a meeting in Milan, Italy.
Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi gestures as he delivers a speech at a meeting in Milan, Italy.   (AP Photo/Alberto Pellaschiar, File)
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