Rome

Napolitano weighing Berlusconi pardon

But conviction must be implemented

Napolitano weighing Berlusconi pardon

Rome, August 13 - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said Tuesday he was weighing if it was possible to pardon centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi after his four-year conviction for tax fraud and ban from public office. But he stressed that all convictions must be implemented. Responding to calls from Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, the president noted that he had not received a pardon request. He also stressed that any decision would have to respect the division of powers. Napolitano pointed out that Berlusconi, 76, would be eligible to serve his one-year sentence at one of his many residences or doing some form of community service. The Senate is due to vote next month on ejecting the PdL leader, who has vowed to revamp the party under its original name, Forza Italia, whether or not his ban is upheld. The president once more warned against ending Italy's two-month-old left-right emergency reform government, which depends on Berlusconi for support.

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