'Ruby the heart stealer' to face trial over Berlusconi court evidence

A judge has indicted the Moroccan woman at the centre of former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi's alleged sex-for-hire scandal on charges of giving false evidence.

The judge set January 11 as the opening date for the trial of Karima el-Mahroug - whose stage name was Ruby the Heartstealer - and 22 others.

They are accused of accepting bribes and lying on the stand to protect Mr Berlusconi in his trial on charges of having paid for sex with el-Mahroug when she was an underage teenager and he premier, and then using his influence to cover it up.

Mr Berlusconi was acquitted in the case on appeal.

He also faces possible indictment but his case was separated from the others due to health issues.

A judge is to decide in December whether Mr Berlusconi will stand trial.

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