Article updated: 1/14/2013 8:04 AM

Court denies Berlusconi bid to halt sex trial

Karima el-Mahroug, the Moroccan woman at the center of ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s sex-for-hire trial, sits in a courtroom prior to to testifying as a witness for the first time, in Milan, Monday. Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with woman, better known as Ruby, when she was 17, and then trying to cover it up. Both deny sexual contact.

Karima el-Mahroug, the Moroccan woman at the center of ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi's sex-for-hire trial, sits in a courtroom prior to to testifying as a witness for the first time, in Milan, Monday. Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with woman, better known as Ruby, when she was 17, and then trying to cover it up. Both deny sexual contact.

 

Associated Press

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By Associated Press

MILAN -- A Milan court has rejected a bid by former Premier Silvio Berlusconi to halt his pay-for-sex trial because of Italy's general election campaign.

The judges deliberated for four hours before delivering their decision on Monday. They also decided that they didn't need to hear testimony from the Moroccan woman at the center of the case, Karima el-Mahroug.

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El-Mahroug had appeared in court on Monday after having failed to show on two previous dates.

Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with el-Mahroug, better known as Ruby, when she was 17, and then trying to cover it up. Both deny sexual contact.

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