Rome: Prosecutors have urged a Milan court to hand six-year prison sentence and life ban from office to former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi for having sex with a minor and for abusing power.

Prosecutor Ilda Boccassini asked the court to send Berlusconi to jail for five years in a corruption related case and another one year for paying an underage girl for sex.

Moroccan belly dancer Karima el-Mahroug, nicknamed "Ruby the Heart Stealer", was 17 when she allegedly slept with Berlusconi. Berlusconi and Ruby deny they had sex, although Boccassini claims the Moroccan teenager stayed overnight at Berlusconi's mansion near Milan 10 times between February and May 2010 when he was prime minister.

"He knew the girl was under 18," said Boccassini. "Several witnesses in the case were forced to lie," she told the court, a claim that Berlusconi's lawyer Piero Longo disputed.

Berlusconi is also charged with abuse of office for getting el-Mahroug released from police custody for an unrelated petty theft offence in order to cover up their liaison.

Berlusconi faces up to three years in prison for sex charge and up to 12 years for allegedly pressuring police to release el-Mahroug. The defence will start arguing its case on June 3 and a sentence is expected by June 24, judicial sources said.


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