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Berlusconi has given up on pardon, says defence lawyer

Former premier wants to service sentence doing social work

13 November, 18:14
Berlusconi has given up on pardon, says defence lawyer (ANSA) - Milan, November 13 - The period has expired in which ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi could have sought a pardon for his first definitive criminal conviction, his defense lawyer said Wednesday. The period of eligibility "has faded away," said Franco Coppi, one of Berlusconi's lawyers.

The question of a possible pardon for the three-time former premier has been discussed since his conviction for tax fraud in August - the first time in more than 20 cases that a conviction against Berlusconi stood.

His lawyers have denied reports that Berlusconi's adult children appealed to President Giorgio Napolitano for a pardon.

Berlusconi's conviction has been a hot political topic in the Senate, which is set to vote later this month on ejecting him from his seat there.

The lawyer's comments came during an appeal hearing after Berlusconi was found to have participated in the publication of an illegally obtained wiretap in his brother Paolo Berlusconi's conservative newspaper Il Giornale.

The ex-premier was given a one-year jail term in relation to the case.

The wiretap concerned a conversation in 2005 between one of Berlusconi's political opponents, Piero Fassino, then the head of the former centre-left Democratic Left (DS) party, and Giovanni Consorte, the former chairman of Unipol, an association of insurers historically linked to the DS, the heir to Italy's Communist Party.

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