Berlusconi sure of win in human rights court
Ex-premier says he will be acquitted by European judiciary03 October, 20:24
Berlusconi is making a last-ditch effort to save his Senate seat by urging the European court to dismiss his tax-fraud conviction which was upheld in August by Italy's highest court.
The leader of Italy's centre right risks losing his parliamentary seat under the terms of an Italian anti-corruption law approved in 2012, which bans anyone with a conviction like the three-time premier's from holding office for six years.
An Italian Senate panel on Friday will continue examining whether to remove the centre-right leader from the Upper House.
Berlusconi and his supporters claim the law is being applied retroactively in his case, although it became effective before his definitive four-year conviction on August 1.
A European court source has said it generally takes at least three or four months to complete a first review of a petition, but that timing also depends on the complexity of the case.
Berlusconi has asked that his appeal be given high priority.
The three-time premier and billionaire media magnate, 77, has to choose by mid-October whether to serve the remaining year of his sentence under house arrest or doing community service.
On Thursday he repeated he was the victim of politically motivated magistrates and denied there had been a rift in his People of Freedom (PdL) party despite his last-minute U-turn on a vote to bring down the government Wednesday following an unprecedented mutiny by 50 PdL members.
The rebels baulked at his insistence on putting his political future before that of the right-left grand coalition tasked with hauling Italy out of its longest recession in 20 years and enacting much-needed structural reforms.