Current Event Cat of the Day: Berlusconi’s Expulsion

Current EVent Cat - Senate Expels Berlusconi

The Italian Senate has voted to expel former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from parliament following his tax fraud conviction. It’s about time…

Today ends Silvio Berlusiconi’s 19-year assault on Italian politics – or at least in theory. The former Italian Prime Minister and current leader of his Forza Italia party was expelled from parliament and could now face arrest over other criminal cases as he has lost his beloved immunity from prosecution.

The Senate voted 192 to 113 to strip the 77-year-old billionaire of his seat, following a three-month debate that began after an Italian court upheld Berlusconi’s tax fraud conviction and four-year prison term. The tax fraud conviction stems from his Mediaset empire’s purchase of television rights to U.S. films, but Berlusconi has also been convicted of paying for sex with an underage prostitute at one of his infamous Bunga Bunga parties and of a breach of confidentiality over a police wiretap.

The former PM will only have to serve a one-year sentence (for the tax fraud charge), and most likely under house arrest or by doing community service because of his old age. Nevertheless, Berlusconi is not taking the news of his expulsion well.

Claiming he didn’t receive a fair trial and that the judges were out to “eliminate” him, Berlusconi told supporters gathered outside his Rome residence that “no political leader has suffered a persecution such as I have lived through.”

“It is a bitter day, a day of mourning,” Berlusconi declared.

Despite being kicked out of parliament, Berlusconi still wields a lot of influence as the head of the Forza Italia party and will likely remain a problematic opponent for the government. As James Walston, a professor of international relations at American University of Rome, said “He is not out of politics, he is out of government.” 

Via: BBC News

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