Silvio Berlusconi’s defense says the former premier was “convinced” that a Moroccan teen at the centre of a sex scandal was related to the former Egyptian president.

Nicolo Ghedini said on Tuesday during closing arguments that the former Italian Prime Minister neither paid for sex with an under-age teen nor tried to cover it up, as charged, and should be found not guilty.

Mr. Ghedini said Mr. Berlusoni would never have discussed the young woman, Karima el Mahroug, at a bilateral lunch with Hosni Mubarak in May 2010 if he had known “she was Moroccan, a minor and lived in Sicily”.

Prosecutors allege Mr. Berlusconi later said she was related to Mr. Mubarak only to get her released from custody for allegedly stealing from a roommate.

They are seeking a six-year sentence and lifetime ban from public office.

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