Italy ex-PM Berlusconi sex trial's verdict expected

An Italian court is expected to rule whether ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi paid for sex with an underage prostitute and abused his office as prime minister.

Prosecutors at the trial in Milan are demanding a six-year sentence and a lifetime ban from public office.

The 76-year-old media tycoon denies all the allegations.

Mr Berlusconi, who is already embroiled in several court cases, was given a four-year sentence for tax fraud in October 2012.

He lost an appeal to overturn the conviction last week.

A court convened in Milan on Monday morning, and was expected to deliver its verdict.

The judgement could have major political repercussions for Italy, analysts say.

They say a guilty ruling could weaken current Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s coalition government, which depends on the support of Mr Berlusconi’s centre-right party, People of Freedom (PdL).