Ruby was a prostitute, had sex with Berlusconi, court told

Last Updated: Mon, May 13, 2013 22:50 hrs

Milan, May 14 (IANS/AKI) There is "no doubt" that former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi paid for sex with a Moroccan teenager nicknamed "Ruby the Heart Stealer", who was working as a prostitute, the prosecution told a Milan court.

"There is no doubt that Karima El Mahroug (Ruby) had sex with Berlusconi and received the benefits of it," prosecutor Ilda Boccassini said.

Berlusconi is on trial for having sex with an underage prostitute and for abuse of office over their liaison.

"He knew the girl was under 18," said Boccassini.

According to prosecutors, Berlusconi paid for sex with then 17-year-old el-Mahroug, a Moroccan belly dancer, at his vast mansion near Milan in 2010 when he was prime minister.

In Italy, the age of consent is 14, but paying a woman under the age of 18 for sex is a criminal offence.

Berlusconi is also charged with abuse of office for getting el-Mahroug released from custody for an unrelated petty theft offence in order to cover up their liaison.

Berlusconi faces up to three years in prison for the sex charge and up to 12 years for allegedly pressuring police to release el-Mahroug.

He and el-Mahroug deny they had sexual relations and claim the money she received from the ex-premier was simply a gift.



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