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April 17, 2014
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Berlusconi files appeal against sex conviction

Italian centre-right leader, Silvio Berlusconi (REUTERS)

Italian centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi filed an appeal today against his conviction for paying for sex with a minor and abuse of office.

Berlusconi was sentenced to seven years jail and banned from holding public office after being found guilty of paying for sex with El Mahroug, better known under her stage name "Ruby the Heartstealer", a teenage nightclub dancer, when she was a minor.

He was also found guilty of abusing his powers as prime minister to have her released from police custody over separate theft allegations.

Berlusconi has always denied all of the charges and his lawyers asked for his conviction to be overturned completely. Under the Italian legal system, no part of his sentence can take effect until the appeals process is completed.

The prostitution accusations against Berlusconi date from 2010 and first surfaced when he was still prime minister. The court in Milan which convicted him said the 77-year-old media magnate was the ringmaster at the so-called 'bunga bunga' sex parties at his villa outside Milan and had paid for sex with El Mahroug despite knowing that she was under the age of 18.

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Tags:  Berlusconi  appeal  sex conviction  abuso of office  


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