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Is This the End for Berlusconi?

MILAN – Italian prosecutors filed a request on Wednesday to bring Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to trial immediately on charges of paying for sex with an underaged girl and improperly pressuring police to release her from custody.

Their application, which means the prosecutors believe they have enough evidence in the case to skip a preliminary hearing, will add to the pressure on the 74-year-old premier, whose centre-right government is hanging on to power by a thread.

The move, announced in a dry statement by prosecutors issued as Berlusconi was in Rome outlining a plan to revive Italy’s chronically sluggish economy, is likely to be only one stage in a potentially long legal battle. . .

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