MILAN (AP) — The trial of Premier Silvio Berlusconi on charges he paid for sex with an underage prostitute, then tried to use his influence to cover it up was adjourned shortly after it opened in Milan on Wednesday.Berlusconi did not attend the hearing, which lasted seven minutes and was devoted to formalities. The trial was adjourned to May 31.
The premier was holding a ministerial meeting in Rome to discuss Libya. He has denied wrongdoing.
The brief session was held under tight security, with some 100 police patrolling the courthouse in downtown Milan. TV crews and other media came from around the world for the opening session.
Unlike Berlusconi's other trials, the one that opened Wednesday puts the premier's personal life under scrutiny, and a conviction could end his political career.
Prosecutors allege Berlusconi paid Moroccan girl Karima el-Mahroug, also known as Ruby and who was 17-year-old at the time, for sex at his villa, then called police to have her released from custody when she was picked up for theft out of concern that she would reveal their relationship.