MILAN, Italy, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Judges in former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's sex trial Monday rejected his request to suspend the case until after the general election.
The judges also said they won't demand testimony from the Moroccan teenage prostitute at the center of the case, relying instead on statements that Karima el-Mahroug, also known as Ruby, made to investigators, ANSA reported.
Mahroug was in court.
Berlusconi is accused of having paid to have sex with her when she was under-age. Both have denied the charges.
Berlusconi also is accused of using his position to get her released from jail and to keep their relationship quiet.
The judges said the trial will continue despite Berlusconi's objection that he would be too busy campaigning in the run-up to the Feb. 24-25 election to defend himself properly.
In asking to delay the trial, Berlusconi also said he thought his rivals would exploit the proceedings for political advantage.