Silvio Berlusconi has trial postponed

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Silvio Berlusconi’s trial on charges of paying for sex with a minor will be postponed until after this month’s election, due to his campaign commitments.

The next hearing will now be held on 4 March, a week after the elections on 24-25 February. Milan judges upheld an argument from the politician’s legal team that his campaign constituted a legitimate impediment to his attendance.

The 76-year-old leader of the centre-right coalition, who faces separate trials for tax fraud and other offences, has had all his trials postponed until March.

The “Bunga Bunga” scandal was among factors that ended his time as prime minister in late 2011, at the peak of the eurozone debt crisis.