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Highest Italian court says Berlusconi trials stay in Milan, denies defense bid to change venue

Italy's highest court has denied a defense motion to move Silvio Berlusconi's sex-for-hire trial and tax fraud appeal away from Milan.

The ruling Monday allows resumption of both trials, which are nearing verdicts.

The defense had sought to have both cases moved to the nearby city of Brescia, arguing that Milan courts are biased against the former premier. The motion was made in March as the courts sent doctors to verify an eye ailment that prevented Berlusconi from attending the trials.

Berlusconi was re-elected to Parliament in February elections, but has no ministerial role in the new cross-party government that allies his center-right with the center-left Democratic Party.

He is on trial for allegedly paying for sex with a minor, and is appealing a tax fraud conviction.