Rome

Ex-justice min urges anti-corruption law against Berlusconi

Senate vote may strip former premier of parliament seat

Ex-justice min urges anti-corruption law against Berlusconi

Rome, September 17 - Former justice minister Paola Severino on Tuesday called on parliament to apply an anti-corruption law named after her to former premier Silvio Berlusconi in a Senate vote this week, stripping him of his parliamentary seat following his tax-fraud verdict last month. A Senate panel is set to vote on Wednesday on whether to strip three-time premier and media magnate Berlusconi of his place in the Upper House and comply with a new anti-corruption rule Severino framed. "We were all in agreement" in the Mario Monti government "when, after a long and detailed process, the law was passed: when you pass a law, you believe in what you are doing. Now its application is the responsibility of the government," said Severino. The law kicked in after Berlusconi's August 1 conviction for tax fraud, his first definitive sentence in almost 20 years of battles with magistrates he accuses of left-wing bias. Premier Enrico Letta's Democratic Party (PD) has said it will vote Berlusconi out, prompting an ultimatum from Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party which is its partner in the current Italian government. The PdL argues that subjecting Berlusconi to the law breaches the Constitution because it would allegedly be applied retroactively.

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