Sex scandal: Italian PM to face trial

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Silvio Berlusconi
Milan, Feb 16: Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister of Italy, has been ordered by a judge to face trial in April 2011 on allegations that he paid an underage girl in order to obtain sexual favours. According to a statement from the office of Milan city's chief judge, the trial is scheduled to start in a criminal court from April 6. However, Berlusconi can continue in the office and doesn't necessarily need to be physically present at the trials.

The trial will be held to probe allegations that the Italian PM had paid a Moroccan teenage nightclub dancer named Karima el Mahroug in order to obtain sexual favours at a time when she was under 18 years of age. It is also alleged that he called on police officials to release her after she was detained on theft allegations.

Berlusconi has been maintaining that he has never paid for sex and says that he had called the police station thinking that she was the granddaughter of the then Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and to avoid a diplomatic conflict.

Apart from this trial, he is also set to face the court in the coming weeks for trial in three unrelated defalcation and fraud cases.

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