Judges delay Berlusconi sex trial

Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:20 AM
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MILAN, Italy, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Italian judges delayed a hearing on Silvio Berlusconi's sex trial after his lawyers claimed a "legitimate impediment" Monday in continuing the proceedings.

Berlusconi, a former prime minister, and two of his defense attorneys are all involved in campaigning for seats in parliamentary elections scheduled for next month, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The attorneys, Niccolo Ghedini and Piero Longo, said Berlusconi was not in the courtroom Monday because he had a live interview in the morning and was scheduled to travel to northeastern Italy in the afternoon.

They said they had interrupted their own campaigns to appear in the court in Milan.

The panel of judges agreed to the delay, postponing the trial until Feb. 11.

Elections are set for Feb. 24 and 25.

Berlusconi is charged with paying to have sex with a Moroccan dancer who was less than 18 years of age at the time during parties at Berlusconi's home.

Both the former prime minister and the dancer deny having sex. She says the money from Berlusconi was a gift.

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