Milan Court Turns Down Berlusconi Request To Move Sex Trial To Rome

Posted July 18th, 2011 at 1:40 pm (UTC-5)
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A court in Milan has denied a defense request to move the sex trial of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to a special tribunal in Rome.

Prosecutors say the 74-year-old Berlusconi paid a 17-year old Moroccan girl known as Ruby for sex at his villa. They says he also tried to use his influence to have her released from police custody after she was arrested for theft, out of concern she would reveal their relationship. He has denied the accusations.

Mr. Berlusconi's lawyers petitioned the court to move the case from Milan's criminal court to the Tribunal of Ministers, which deals with offenses committed by public officials in the execution of their duties. But the Milan court said he was not acting in his role of prime minister when he allegedly called police to have the girl released.

A final decision is expected to be announced by Italy's Constitutional Court later this year.