Scrolling news:

Palestine: Gaza casualty toll on the rise, Israeli strikes continue on day 20

Palestine: Eight Palestinians killed, dozens wounded Sunday

Eid moon sighting possiblities, Muslims in South Africa have declared Eid

Pakistan: More rain with thunder, lightening forecast in next 24 hours in Rawalpindi

Libya: US embassy evacuated after heavy violence

Palestine: List of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces between July 8 to July 27

Palestine: Two Palestinians beaten by Jewish mob in Jerusalem

Palestine: Reports show murder of 3 Israeli teenage settlers was not carried out by Hamas

Palestine: Remains of 85 Palestinians located under rubble of bombarded homes

Palestine: Ten Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in West Bank

Palestine: At least 15 kidnapped by Israeli forces from West Bank

Palestine: Palestinians pull over 140 bodies from under Gaza rubble, total killed 1000

Lebanon: Nasrallah: Israel on a path towards “suicide” in Gaza

Palestine: Two Palestinians killed as tens of thousands protest Israeli assault across West Bank

Palestine: Amid Gaza ceasefire calm, at least 40 dead bodies are found

Palestine: Entire 20 members of one family in Gaza killed prior to ceasefire, as death toll tops 940

Palestine: Seventeen killed in early morning hours of Friday

Palestine: Israeli forces invade Azzun in W Bank, use Palestinian civilians as human shields

Palestine: 931 Palestinians from Jerusalem & inside Israel taken captive in 3 Weeks

Saudi Arabia behind effort to disarm the Palestinian Resistance

Italy: Berlusconi tax fraud conviction upheld

2nd Aug 2013

Italy’s highest court has upheld a tax fraud conviction against former PM Silvio Berlusconi, and ordered a review of a ban on him serving in public office. The court confirmed a four-year jail sentence by a lower court.

Thursday’s decision marks the first time that Berlusconi, a three-time former prime minister and billionaire media mogul, has been definitively convicted of any crime, as all past rulings against him have been overturned on appeal or charges have expired.

Berlusconi appealed the ruling that was upheld by Italy’s appeals court in May, following the original conviction last October. He was found guilty of involvement in a scheme that inflated the price of film distribution rights bought by his Mediaset business empire in order to avoid taxes, with him then pocketing the difference.

On Thursday, the Court of Cassation – Italy’s highest court – confirmed the conviction and four-year jail sentence. This would be reduced to one year under an amnesty.

It is unclear whether Berlusconi would actually serve any time in prison, with community service or house arrest a likely option. However, his sentence cannot be imposed until the Senate votes to lift his parliamentary immunity. This could take weeks or months.

The judges ordered a judicial review of the second part of Berlusconi’s sentence, a five-year ban from public office. This allows him to remain as a senator and as leader of his center-right People of Freedom Party (PDL) for the moment.

The 76-year-old has continually denied the charges and says he has been unjustly victimized by left-wing prosecutors. However, critics say he has used his influence to avoid punishment since he entered the political scene in the early 1990s.

In June, Berlusconi was sentenced to seven years in prison, after being convicted on charges of paying an underage Moroccan teen for sex in 2010, and then abusing his powers by trying to cover up the encounter with phone calls to Milan police officials. He is appealing these convictions.

Thursday’s ruling could put the fragile cross-party coalition led by Prime Minister Enrico Letta under strain, even though Berlusconi has pledged his center-right party will continue to support the government.

After winning nearly a third of the vote in Italy’s February general election, Berlusconi’s party is now an influential member Letta’s coalition.

jr/hc (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

Leave a Comment

What is 6 + 5 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Sectarianism in the Middle East and its rise in the UK, Standpoint, Sahar TV. Interview 29 May 2013 and aired on 12 June 2013

Latest Tweets

The Muslim News


Awards for Excellence

Read more