Italy’s Supreme Court Upholds 4 Year Prison Term For Ex PM Berlusconi

August 1, 2013 | By | Reply More

Aug 01, – Berlusconi faces house arrest or community service instead of going to jail because of his age – he is 76. His lawyers had asked judges at Rome’s Court of Cassation to overturn a one-year jail sentence and political ban. Italy’s Supreme Court has upheld the prison sentence given to ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for tax fraud.

hromedia Italy's Supreme Court Upholds 4 Year Prison Term For Ex PM Berlusconi eu crisis1

However, the court ordered a review of a five-year ban on public office that was part of the sentence.

When Berlusconi was convicted in October last year, he was sentenced to four years in prison but this was automatically reduced to one under a 2006 pardon law.

The supreme court’s ruling came after a three-day hearing.

The judicial review of the five-year ban from public office will enable Berlusconi to remain as a senator and as leader of his centre-right People of Freedom Party (PDL) for the moment.

The PDL is part of Italy’s coalition government. The BBC’s Alan Johnston in Rome says Berlusconi remains an influential figure and there are concerns that a political ban could threaten the stability of the government.

The original ruling said that his Mediaset media empire had raised the price of film distribution rights artificially high, to avoid incurring a higher tax bill. Berlusconi was labelled the “author of a whole system of tax fraud”.

The three-time prime minister and senator has faced a string of court cases. Appeals are pending in other cases in which he was convicted of having paid for sex with an underage prostitute and arranging for a police wiretap to be leaked and published in a newspaper.

He accuses magistrates from his home city of Milan of pursuing a “vendetta” against him.

Press coordinator for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo contributed to this report.

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Category: European Crises

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