Prosecutors to make request on Berlusconi-Ruby trial

MILAN, ITALY: Italian prosecutors on Friday informed that in the coming days they will make a request for the Berlusconi-Ruby case to be sent to trial, ANSA news agency reported.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is accused paying to have sex with several young women, including a Moroccan belly dancer who goes by the name of Ruby whop was 17 years old at the time.

Berlusconi, 74, has repeatedly denied exploiting underage prostitution. He also claimed that the investigation was the latest in a series of attempts by leftist magistrates to oust him from the government.

Opposition parties called for the premier to resign due to the scandal. Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party is planning to stage a demonstration in Milan on February 13 in defense of the Premier, who will reportedly participate.

Prosecutors said that the case was not a direct attack towards Berlsuconi but rather an application of the principle that everyone is equal before the law. Berlusconi is also under investigation for alleged abuse of power.

Berlusconi said that he acted on behalf of Ruby as he believed she was the granddaughter of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. According to his lawyers, Ruby told him she was Mubarak's granddaughter and she was 23 years old.

The girl eventually went away with someone else, a Brazilian woman, before being detained. The teenager Moroccan dancer admitted attending three parties at Berlusconi's residence outside of Milan.

Ruby added that she received in return 7,000 Euros (around $9,400) from him, but denied having sex with PM Berlusconi. Other prostitutes have claimed they attended other parties at Berlusconi's villa.

The trial was resumed last month after the Constitutional Court partly struck down a judicial shield protecting Berlusconi. The proceedings against the Premier were suspended in April 2010.

The premier is involved in two other trials in Milan, one for allegedly bribing British tax lawyer David Mills for favorable testimony and one for other alleged irregularities committed by a Mediaset unit.


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