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Originally published Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 5:27 AM

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Berlusconi sex-for-hire verdict likely after vote

Judges hearing ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi's sex-for-hire trial are indicating that the verdict could come down after national elections

The Associated Press

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MILAN —

Judges hearing ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi's sex-for-hire trial are indicating that the verdict could come down after national elections

The court's decision last week not to suspend the trial to allow Berlusconi to campaign put the case on course to wrap up before the Feb. 24-25 vote. But the court Monday set the last hearing for March and asked the prosecutors to make their final arguments after the elections.

Prosecutors replied with a motion to schedule their closing before elections. The court was in recess to decide the request and another by Berlusconi's defense to suspend the trial so the lead lawyer, a parliamentarian, can campaign.

Berlusconi is accused of having paid for sex with an underage teen and then trying to cover it up. Both deny sexual contact.

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