Silvio Berlusconi: Prosecutors to seek trial over 'sex'
Prosecutors in Italy say they will formally ask for PM Silvio Berlusconi to be tried for alleged sex with an underage prostitute and abuse of power.
The Milan chief prosecutor said a request for a fast-track trial would be submitted to a court on Wednesday.
Mr Berlusconi is alleged to have paid for sex with a 17-year-old girl and then intervened to get her released from custody in a separate case.
The woman, known as Ruby, is now 18 and denies that they had sex.
A Moroccan nightclub dancer whose real name is Karima El Mahroug, she was detained for alleged theft by police but freed after a phone call from the prime minister.
Although frequenting prostitutes is not a crime in Italy, having sex with one under the age of 18 is an offence that commands a prison sentence.
Mr Berlusconi denies the sex allegations, insisting they are politically motivated.
He has previously admitted calling the police after Ms Mahroug's arrest but says he did nothing wrong and acted out of pity.'Final meeting'
Milan Chief Prosecutor Edmondo Bruti Liberati told reporters that the inquiry into the two allegations was almost complete.
He said "a final meeting" would be held on Tuesday afternoon to consider whether there should be one fast-track trial for both charges or whether they should be separated.
Mr Berlusconi refused to appear before prosecutors as part of their investigation and last week the Italian parliament rejected their request to search the offices of the prime minister's accountant.
As part of their request, the prosecutors submitted two sets of documents in January including what they said was proof of payments made by the prime minister to prostitutes, including the Moroccan dancer.
Although Ms Mahroug has said she received cash at the end of one of Mr Berlusconi's parties, she maintains it was not in return for sex.