Tue May 14, 2013 4:16AM
Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi( File photo)

Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi( File photo)

Milan prosecutors have called for a six-year prison sentence and a lifetime ban on holding public office for former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi over his sex trial. On Monday, Italian prosecutors demanded the charge against Berlusconi who is accused of paying for sex with Karima El Mahroug, known as “Ruby", while she was underage, during parties at his villa at Arcore near Milan, in 2010. The former Italian premier is also charged with abusing power while in office to release her from police custody where she was being held on theft charges. "At Arcore there was a system of organized prostitution aimed at the satisfaction of the sexual pleasure of Silvio Berlusconi," Milan chief prosecutor Ilda Boccassini said in a more than six-hour closing argument. The prosecutors called on five years prison sentence for abusing the power of his office and one year for paying for sex with a minor. The prosecutors also said mobile phone records showed that Ruby had spent the night at Berlusconi's home on at least seven occasions between February and May 2010. Berlusconi repudiated the accusations, calling Boccassini's charges "lies inspired by prejudice and hatred". El Mahroug has also denied the accusations. In Italy, it is against law to pay for sex with a minor under 18 years. The verdict is expected to be announced on June 24. In April, Berlusconi announced that he would be ready to run for premier again. Last October, a lower court also convicted Berlusconi of artificially inflating prices of film distribution rights bought by Mediaset to avoid taxes. Berlusconi, who served as the country's prime minister from 1994 to 2011, resigned last November after coming under immense pressure to step down for mishandling the Italian economy. IA/SZH/HN
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