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Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi to attend all his court hearings

By the CNN Wire Staff
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will attend all hearings in his sex allegations trial.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will attend all hearings in his sex allegations trial.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Berlusconi has been indicted for paying for sex with an under-age prostitute
  • Alleged prostitute is 17-year-old Karima el Mahroug
  • Both deny the charges

(CNN) -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will attend his court hearings as he faces an indictment for paying for sex with an underage prostitute, his attorney, Niccolo Ghedini, told Italian media on Saturday.

"Absolutely yes, we have decided to blank his agenda for one day per week, every Monday, in order to allow him to participate to all the hearings," Ghedini told reporters.

Authorities allege that Berlusconi had a liaison with 17-year-old Karima el Mahroug, nicknamed "Ruby the heart-stealer," last spring during parties at his villa -- which both deny.

Berlusconi is scheduled to stand trial in April on chargesthat he paid the underage girl for sex and abused his position as prime minister by trying to get her out of police custody, which he also denies.

Berlusconi has been tried on at least 17 charges since his first time as prime minister in 1994, but none of the cases have resulted in lasting convictions. Several were overturned on appeal.

CNN's Livia Borghese contributed to this report.