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Prosecutors call for 6-year jail term for Berlusconi in sex trial

The 76-year-old billionaire is accused of paying for sex with Karima El Mahroug when she was under 18 during the now notorious "bunga bunga" parties at his villa near Milan.

Silvio berlusconi jailEnlarge
Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reacts during the presentation of Antonio Razzi's book "Le mie mani pulite" (My clean hands) on February 1, 2012 at the Italian parliament in Rome. The Clean Hands campaign was a judicial investigation into political corruption in the 1990s. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

Prosecutors have called for a six-year prison sentence and lifetime ban from public office at the latest trial of billionaire media tycoon and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The prosecution alleges the 76-year-old paid for sex with then 17-year-old Moroccan, Karima El-Mahroug, at his residence in 2010 and abused his term in office, BBC reported. Both Berlusconi and El-Mahroug have denied the allegations. El-Mahroug told investigators that the 7,000 euros ($9000) she received was a gift following a party.

Prosecutors said the more serious charge was that Berlusconi abused his powers of office by arranging for El-Mahroug to be released from police custody after she was arrested on theft charges, Reuters reported.

The prosecution demanded five years jail for that crime and a year for paying for sex with an underage girl.

"At Arcore there was a system of organised prostitution aimed at the satisfaction of the sexual pleasure of Silvio Berlusconi," said prosecutor Ilda Boccassini, according to Al Jazeera.

Boccassini alleged during six hours of closing submissions that the young women, many of them aspiring actresses, took part in the sex parties at Berlusconi's residence, hoping to become famous on one of his television channels. Some were rewarded with large sums of cash and gifts, the court was told.

In a statement, Berlusconi, who last week lost an appeal against a four-year sentence for tax fraud, called Boccassini's arguments "lies inspired by prejudice and hatred." The verdict is expected to be handed down on June 24.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/politics/130513/prosecutors-call-6-year-jail-term-berlusconi-sex-trial