The Life In Italy website reports today (March 29, 2011) that prosecutors -- in an upcoming trial of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for alleged use of an underage prostitute called Ruby -- presented a list today of some 60 witnesses they intend to call, including Ruby.
The trial -- which opens next week on April 6 -- also involves charges of abuse of power against the premier for allegedly getting the Moroccan teen runaway and belly dancer out of police custody after an unrelated theft claim.
Berlusconi and Ruby deny having sex, and insist that the new car, cash, and jewelry she received from him were "gifts."
In referring to the Berlusconi dilemma -- without using the prime minister's name -- Pope Benedict XVI said public officials must offer a strong moral example. He added, "Society and public institutions must rediscover their soul, their moral and spiritual roots."