London, Feb 16 (ANI): Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will be tried in court on charges of abuse of office and paying for sex with an under age prostitute and the case will be presided over by three women judges.
The trial will start on April 6, and a judge in Milan has said that the case will proceed without a preliminary hearing, as there is sufficient evidence, the Telegraph reported.
The ruling comes amidst splits within his conservative coalition, falling electoral support, a string of lurid sex scandals and demands for his resignation.
A spokesman for Berlusconi, 74, said that the Prime Minister would not be required to appear in court or give evidence.
Prosecutors alleged that Berlusconi paid for sexual relations with Karima El Mahroug, a 17-year-old Moroccan-born erotic dancer who, they say, was working at a prostitute at the time of the encounters last year.
Paying for sex with a prostitute who is under 18 is an offence under Italian law, which carries a maximum penalty of three years in jail, and the abuse of office charge carries a prison term of between four and 12 years. (ANI)