Italian prosecutors have called for Silvio Berlusconi to be given a six-year jail sentence and a lifetime ban on holding public office at his latest court trial.
The former prime minister and centre-right leader is accused of paying for sex with Karima El Mahroug – better known as “Ruby the Heartstealer” – when she was under 18.
He is also alleged to have abused his power of office by pressing for her to be released when she was held by police on theft charges.
‘‘The closing arguments of public prosecutor Boccassini are surreal. They’re based on the destruction of all evidence that shows Berlusconi’s innocence,” said Anna Maria Bernini, from Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party.
Massimo D’Alema, from Italy’s Democratic Party, commented: ‘‘I don’t think that the future of the government should depend on these court verdicts – and the other verdicts that perhaps will come.”
Berlusconi, 76, allegedly paid for sex with El Mahroug during the now notorius “bunga bunga” parties. They both deny the allegations.
The sentencing demands come after Berlusconi lost an appeal against a four-year sentence for tax fraud.