ROME – Milan prosecutors on Friday asked a judge to indict three aides of Premier Silvio Berlusconi on charges they recruited a girl and several women for prostitution.
Berlusconi's case was separated from that of the aides. The premier went on trial last month in Milan on charges of paying for sex with an underage Moroccan teenager and nightclub dancer and using his influence to cover it up.
The three aides are Emilio Fede, a top TV executive in Berlusconi's media empire; Nicole Minetti, a former showgirl and now a local politician, and Dario "Lele" Mora, a talent scout and agent. All three deny wrongdoing. Berlusconi also denies wrongdoing.
Milan prosecutor Edmondo Bruti Liberati told The Associated Press by telephone that he expects a judge to set a date for a hearing on his request for trial in a few weeks, possibly before the start of the court's summer vacation.
The three are accused of recruiting women for prostitution and abetting prostitution, the prosecutor said. The three are also accused of recruiting and abetting prostitution of a minor.
They are accused of criminal activity beginning in 2009 and continuing through January, Bruti Liberati said.
It is not illegal to be a prostitute in Italy. Acts that abet prostituion, such as setting up encounters for the prostitute or providing a locale for paid sex, is. Paying for sex with an adult prostitute isn't a crime, but paying for sex with a minor is.
Prosecutors formally closed the investigation against the three aides in March, filing a document in which they alleged that Berlusconi paid for sex with the Moroccan girl 13 times at his villa near Milan. In the document, they also alleged that sex-fueled parties began with dinner, progressed to erotic dancing involving the premier, and culminated with his choosing a sex partner or partners.
Berlusconi has publicly denied ever paying for sex. His wife, who is divorcing him, has cited his alleged dalliances with young women.