EC’s Reding rules out Berlusconi EP bid

IMG class=hide alt=”EC’s Reding rules out Berlusconi EP bid” src=”” (ANSA) – Brussels, March 17 – European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding ruled out ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s bid to run in the May European Parliament elections on Monday. “EU rules are very clear on this,” Reding said. Centre-right opposition leader Berlusconi, who is banned from running for office in Italy or Europe because of a tax-fraud conviction, is appealing to the European Court of Human Rights. PHis Forza Italia party has said he should be entitled to stand in the 22-25 May elections to the EP despite the conviction, his first binding one in 20 years of legal battles against magistrates he says are leftwing./PPSome supporters have even suggested the ban should be lifted by President Giorgio Napolitano, although Berlusconi has ruled out asking for a pardon because it would be an admission of guilt./PPItaly’s ruling Democratic Party has insisted he cannot be considered above the law./PPItalian judges are set to rule next month whether the 77-year-old media magnate should serve his one-year sentence under house arrest or doing community service./PPIn two separate cases, Berlusconi is appealing a seven-year term for paying an underage prostitute for sex and a one-year sentence for involvement in the publication of an illegally obtained wiretap that hurt a leftwing rival./PPThe charismatic conservative leader is also on trial for allegedly bribing a Senator to switch sides./P
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