Mercoledì, 24 Ottobre 2018

Berlusconi defense lawyer 'shocked' by speedy appeals trial


Rome, July 9 - A defense lawyer for Italian
ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi on Tuesday expressed outrage at the
speed of judicial proceedings in the final, supreme court appeal
of the media mogul's conviction for tax fraud.
The supreme Court of Cassation set July 30 as the starting
date for the final appeals trial regarding Berlusconi's
conviction on tax-dodging through the manipulation of film
rights for Mediaset, a broadcasting company that is part of his
family's media empire.
''I have never seen a hearing scheduled with this speed. I
am shocked, surprised and saddened, because in this way defence
rights are compromised,'' said Berlusconi's lawyer, Franco
Coppi, commenting on the Cassation court trial scheduling.
Last month the Constitutional court - Italy's middle court
- upheld a lower court ruling sentencing Berlusconi to four
years in prison and banning him from public office for five
The sentence will not be enforced unless upheld by the
Supreme Court of Cassation.
There are fears that if the Cassation court upholds
Berlusconi's sentence, members of the center-right leader's
People of Freedom (PdL) party could act out to upset the fragile
left-right coalition government, headed by Premier Enrico Letta
of the center-left Democratic Party (PD).
Senior PdL officials have said the party's lawmakers will
quit en masse if the fraud conviction is upheld by the supreme
Court of Cassation.

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