"--IANS/EFE"
Rome, July 18 (IANS/EFE) An appeals court in Milan Friday acquitted former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi in the sex-for-hire case with an underage nightclub dancer known as the Ruby case.

Berlusconi had appealed the seven-year prison sentence and a lifetime ban on holding political office handed out by another court in June last year.

The court found him guilty of abusing his power and inciting prostitution after paying for sex with 17-year-old Kharima El Mahroug, nicknamed Ruby.

His defence team alleged the ruling was based on incomplete findings of the prosecution.

Berlusconi, who is currently doing community service at an Alzheimer's facility near Milan for a separate tax fraud case, said in a message on his Facebook page that he was excited by the acquittal.

--IANS/EFE

ab/vm


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