Rome

Italian president calls on Berlusconi after sex conviction

'Robust exchange of opinions' amid accusations of biased judges

Italian president calls on Berlusconi after sex conviction

(see previous) Rome, June 26 - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano invited Silvio Berlusconi to a private meeting Wednesday amid accusations from the ex-premier and his supporters that biased judges were behind his sex conviction this week. According to a statement from the president's office, the two shared a robust exchange of opinions on the political situation at hand. In a closely watched verdict Monday, judges in Milan sentenced Berlusconi to seven years in prison and banned him for life from holding public office, rulings he will appeal. Berlusconi and his supporters have since echoed their oft-made allegations of a leftist judiciary out to get him. On Wednesday the Italian judiciary's self-governing body, whose titular head is Napolitano, spoke out against such claims, saying that the respect for the judiciary must never be trespassed. Many have worried that the fragile stability of the unprecedented left-right government was at risk over the Berlusconi's legal woes.

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