Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Constitutional Court turns down Berlusconi petition

English
© ANSA

(see previous) Rome, June 19 - Italy's Constitutional
Court on Monday rejected ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's petition
for a four-year tax-fraud conviction to be struck down.
The case concerns a four-year conviction Berlusconi was
handed last year for tax fraud on TV rights bought by his
Mediaset media empire.
The conviction, which also includes a five-year ban from
public office, was upheld by an appeals court last month.
"This 20-year attempt to eliminate me from political life,
which has never succeeded because through the democratic system
I have always been legitimized by a popular vote, will in no way
undermine or weaken my political commitment to a more just and
free Italy," Berlusconi said following the court's decision.
Berlusconi's lawyers sought to have the conviction struck
down on the grounds that, since the media mogul was premier at
the time of a 2010 hearing, that hearing should never have taken
place because he had a "legitimate impediment" that prevented
him attending.
If the Constitutional Court upheld Berlusconi's petition
the case would have timed out.
But with the rejection, Berlusconi will be forced to take
the case to the supreme Court of Cassation.
With the Cassation's decision to uphold the conviction, it
becomes effective.
Berlusconi is unlikely to actually have to spend time as a
2006 amnesty law means three of the four years of the sentence
will not be effective, leaving just one, and terms that are so
short are usually suspended in Italy.
But the ban of holding public office will technically kick
in.
Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party
said earlier Wednesday that all of their lawmakers would resign
if this happened.
This would cause a crisis for Premier Enrico Letta's
left-right coalition government, which relies on the PdL's
support in parliament.
"This is an unbelievable decision. We are shocked, saddened
and deeply concerned," PdL misters said in a release.
"The decision overturns every principle of cooperation and
establishes the policy of a subordinate judiciary," the release
said.

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