Berlusconi sex trial adjourned until May

April 7, 2011 - 0:0

MILAN (AFP) – Silvio Berlusconi's trial on charges of sex with an alleged underage prostitute and abuse of power opened on Wednesday as the storm over the 74-year-old Italian premier's private life finally landed in court.

Berlusconi himself did not attend the hearing and the judges immediately adjourned the trial until May 31. The woman at the centre of the case, Karima El Mahroug -- nicknamed “Ruby the Heart Stealer” -- was not present either.
The hearing at Milan's main court building lasted just under 10 minutes and a handful of protesters rallied outside both for and against Berlusconi.
The prime minister said in a letter given to the court by his defense lawyers that he would have wanted to take part in the hearing but that he had “institutional engagements” in Rome that prevented him from doing so.
The defense says it will call U.S. actor George Clooney and Real Madrid football star Cristiano Ronaldo to testify -- in a bid to undermine comments about both men made by the alleged prostitute during questioning.