Italy’s high court upholds Berlusconi’s prison sentence

Italy’s high court upholds Berlusconi’s prison sentence
# 02 August 2013 03:44 (UTC +04:00)

The ruling by Rome's Court of Cassation on Thursday rejected Berlusconi's second and final appeal in his tax fraud case which relates to the purchase of broadcasting rights by his television network Mediaset.


Reports say Berlusconi's immunity is to be lifted by the Italian Senate for the ruling to take effect.

In October, a lower court sentenced Berlusconi to four years in prison for artificially inflating prices of film distribution rights bought by Mediaset to avoid taxes. However, his sentence was commuted to one year under an amnesty law.

Guglielmo Epifani, leader of the centre-left Democratic Party, said the sentence should be "respected, executed and implemented."

Thursday’s ruling also sent back to the court of appeals another part of the media magnate’s sentence which bars him from holding public office for five years and from managing any company for three years.


"The court annuls the sentence of interdiction from public office and... declares irrevocable all other parts of the sentence," said judge Antonio Esposito.

Previous charges against Berlusconi included Mafia collusion, false accounting, corruption and bribing police officers and judges.

Berlusconi, who served as the country's prime minister from 1994 to 2011, resigned in November 2011 after coming under immense pressure to step down for mishandling the Italian economy.

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