National News

Berlusconi appeals bunga bunga conviction

By The Associated Press

MILAN - Silvio Berlusconi's legal challenge to a conviction of paying for sex with an under-age prostitute has opened as the ex-premier spent his seventh morning working with Alzheimer's patients as part of a tax-fraud sentence.

Berlusconi is appealing a conviction, seven-year prison sentence and lifetime ban from politics. He denies having had sex with the Moroccan teen at the centre of the scandal that revealed racy, sex-fueled "bunga bunga" parties at the then-premier's villa near Milan. The appeals trial, which opened Friday, is expected to continue for months.

Berlusconi is performing community service four hours a week as part of his sentence for tax fraud. The four-year sentence was reduced to one year under a general amnesty, which can apply only to a first conviction.

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