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Berlusconi fears being at prosecutors' mercy if ejected

Senate to vote on Nov 27 on stripping ex-premier of seat

13 November, 10:47
Berlusconi fears being at prosecutors' mercy if ejected (ANSA) - Rome, November 12 - Silvio Berlusconi told a meeting of young loyalists of his People of Freedom (PdL) party late on Tuesday that he feared being at the mercy of Italian prosecutors if he is ejected from parliament this month, ANSA sources said.

The floor of the Senate is set to vote on whether to strip the three-time premier of his seat on November 27 on the basis of a 2012 anti-corruption law after the supreme court upheld a tax-conviction against him in August, making it definitive.

Berlusconi says the sentence, his first definitive conviction in two decades of legal battles, is the result of a campaign by left-wing magistrates to persecute him for political reasons.

He also argues the 2012 anti-corruption law is being applied retroactively in his case, which is against the Italian Constitution.

The anti-corruption law was adopted before the supreme court upheld the tax-fraud conviction, although the original sentence predates it.

If Berlusconi is stripped of his Senate seat he will lose his parliamentary immunity from arrest.

The 77year-old media magnate is set to serve one year of community service for the tax-fraud sentence - cut from four years by an amnesty.

He is also appealing a six-year sentence for sex with an underage prostitute and abuse of power to cover it up; and a one-year sentence for involvement in the publication of an illegally obtained wiretap.

The three-time premier, who is threatening to bring Italy's unprecedented right-left government down if the office ban is enforced, has been indicted on charges of bribing a Senator to switch sides too.

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