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Prosecutors: Criminal trial for Berlusconi

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi greets G8 leaders as they arrive for a round table session at the G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy on July 8, 2009. (UPI Photo/Stringer)
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi greets G8 leaders as they arrive for a round table session at the G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy on July 8, 2009. (UPI Photo/Stringer) | License Photo

ROME, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Prosecutors filed a request Wednesday to try Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on charges related to prostitution and abuse of power.

In their request, the Milan prosecutors said they had proof -- such as wiretaps -- to bring the charges, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

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Berlusconi has been accused of paying to have sex with a 17-year-old prostitute and then abused his power by intervening with police on her behalf after she was arrested on a petty theft charge.

Berlusconi called the prosecutors' actions "disgusting" and a "farce," and repeated his view that he thought the prosecutors were incompetent in the case. The prime minister said he intervened with police to avert a "diplomatic incident" with Egypt because the accused woman was the granddaughter of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, ANSA reported.

Berlusconi and the teenager, Karmina El Mahroug, also known as Ruby, both denied having sex. Mahroug was 17 at the time the accusations were made; she has since celebrated her 18th birthday.

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