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Silvio Berlusconi’s appeal of his conviction for abuse of office and paying for sex with a minor began on Friday, opening a new legal battle that could severely limit any active political role for the former Italian prime minister. Berlusconi was convicted last year for paying for sex with former nightclub dancer Kharima El Mahroug, better known by the stage name “Ruby the Heartstealer”, when she was under 18, and of abusing his authority to get her released from police custody over unrelated theft accusations.



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