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International Political Scandals

On April 6, 2011, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is scheduled to stand trial for charges stemming from his relationship with Karima el-Mahroug, a nightclub dancer who performs under the name Ruby Heart-Stealer.

According to the charges, he paid el-Mahroug for sex while she was still underage, and when she was arrested for theft, he used his political muscle to have her released from police custody. Berlusconi has been in this type of trouble before, but it’s widely speculated that this may be the scandal that finally ends his career.

Berlusconi’s activities may be colorful, but they’re nothing that politicians haven’t engaged in before. World political history is rife with figures who have been involved in abuse of power, fraud and substance abuse, as well as the old standby, the extramarital affair.

Click ahead to see international political scandals that raised eyebrows and kept the tabloids in wide circulation.

By Daniel Bukszpan, Special to CNBC.com
Posted 18 Feb 2011

Photo: DAJ | Getty Images