Berlusconi to face sex charge trial
An Italian judge has ordered premier Silvio Berlusconi to stand trial on charges he paid for sex with a 17-year-old girl and then tried to cover it up.
Judge Cristina Di Censo handed down the judgement in Milan. The trial is set to begin on April 6.
Although Mr Berlusconi has stood trial on a number of business-related charges, this will be the first time the 74-year-old billionaire businessman has been tried for personal conduct.
He has denied wrongdoing.
Prosecutors allege he paid for sex with a Moroccan girl nicknamed Ruby, then used his influence to get her out of police custody when she was detained for the unrelated suspected theft of €3,000. They claim that Mr Berlusconi feared her relationship to him would be revealed.
Both Mr Berlusconi and Ruby have denied having sex, although she has said he gave her €7,000 on their first meeting.