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Berlusconi in court for corruption case amid sex furore

Berlusconi in court for corruption case amid sex furore
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Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has appeared in court in Milan for a corruption trial, one of several cases in which he is involved.

It resumes as further reports of parties and young women have called into question his suitability for governing the country.

In the trial he is accused of bribing a British lawyer, paying him more than 400,000 euros to lie to protect his business interests in a 1990s case.

Outside the court, anti-Berlusconi demonstrators – for once no-one turned out to support him – were more outraged by the latest accusations.

The 74-year-old has allegedly been caught on tape bragging about women queuing up to have sex with him, and joking that he is only prime minister “in his spare time”.

The papers have replaced headlines about Italy’s dire economy, publishing transcripts of Berlusconi’s tapped conversations with a businessman friend who is accused of supplying him with prostitutes.

The latest claims are separate from the “Rubygate” case which resumes next month. The premier is accused of abusing his power and of paying for sex with a Moroccan nightclub dancer who was underage at the time.

Berlusconi’s supporters have rallied to defend him, rejecting calls for him to resign.

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