Berlusconi loses bid to delay pay-for-sex trial
Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has lost a legal attempt to halt his pay-for-sex trial so he can concentrate on a general election campaign.
Judges deliberated for four hours before delivering their decision.
They also ruled that they did not need to hear evidence from the young woman at the centre of the case, Karima el-Mahroug.
Ms El-Mahroug, nicknamed Ruby the Heart Stealer, had appeared in court after having failed to show on two previous dates.
Berlusconi, who is heading a centre-right coalition in the February 24-25 elections, is accused of paying for sex with her when she was 17, and then trying to cover it up.
Both deny sexual contact.