ROME, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says he expects his current trial for allegedly having sex with an underage girl to end in an acquittal.
Berlusconi pointed to his track record in an interview published Friday in the French newspaper Liberation, Italian news agency ANSA reported.
"An extremist and politicized part of the Italian judiciary started to persecute me when I entered politics and it never stopped. Italians understand this, they are with me," Berlusconi said.
Berlusconi is charged with both the underage sex and abuse of office, allegedly to cover it up. Prosecutors say he used more than 30 prostitutes during a binge at his villa that went on for several days.
Karima El Mahroug, a Moroccan dancer who uses the stage name Ruby, was legally a child at the time. She has denied having sex with Berlusconi.
If he is convicted, Berlusconi could receive a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. The trial is expected to last a long time, and a verdict could be years away.
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