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Italy appeals court clears Berlusconi in sex trial

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

MILAN (Reuters) - An Italian appeals court on Friday overturned Silvio Berlusconi's conviction on charges of abuse of office and paying for sex with a minor, in a significant legal victory for the former prime minister.

The Milan court unexpectedly threw out the guilty verdict handed down by a lower tribunal last year, which had sentenced Berlusconi to seven years in jail.

Berlusconi was accused of paying for sex with former nightclub dancer Kharima El Mahroug, better known under her stage name "Ruby the Heartstealer", when she was under 18, and of abusing his authority to get her released from police custody over unrelated theft accusations.

(Reporting by Ilaria Polleschi and Manuela D'Alessandro)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/140718/italy-appeals-court-clears-berlusconi-sex-trial