Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018

Berlusconi gets 20 days to prepare defence of Senator status


Rome, August 8 - A Senate commission has given
ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi 20 days to prepare a defence
dossier to keep his seat in the Upper House after the supreme
court upheld a tax-fraud conviction against him last week.
The commission is set to reconvene September 9 to discuss
turfing the 76-year-old billionaire out of parliament after a
meeting late on Wednesday.
Berlusconi risks being stripped of his Senate seat even
though a five-year ban on holding public office that came with
the conviction has been sent back to the Milan appeals court for
Wednesday's meeting was convened to discuss whether
Berlusconi is ineligible because of a 1957 law that bans people
holding public licences, like the ones the ex-premier has for
his TV channels, from being lawmakers.
But he could also be removed from parliament after the
fraud conviction because of a 2012 anti-corruption law, which
would probably make him ineligible to run in future elections
Some of his supporters have said the legislation should not
apply to the three-time premier as the original sentence
pre-dates the legislation.
Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party wants ways to be
found to make it possible for the ex-premier to continue to be
active in politics, something he has vowed to do.
He says last week's decision to uphold a four-year jail
term, three years of which have been commuted because of an
amnesty, was the result of a campaign of persecution by
left-wing elements in the judiciary that started when he entered
politics two decades ago.
After over two dozen criminal cases, last week's verdict
was the first time Berlusconi has suffered a definitive
A request by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S)
for the urgent examination of a bill on the parliamentary
eligibility of convicts was rejected in a vote in the Senate

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