EU Court of Human Rights throws out Berlusconi’s case

EPA-EFE/ANGELO CARCONI

Former Italian prime minister and Forza Italia party leader, Silvio Berlusconi, in Rome for meetings with Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinal Palace, May 7, 2018.

EU Court of Human Rights throws out Berlusconi’s case


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A half-decade after being tossed out of the Italian government for tax fraud, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on November 27 ruled that former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had no grounds to argue that his fundamental rights were violated when he was evicted from the Italian Senate and barred from holding public office in 2013.
Berlusconi – who has served as Italy’s prime minister on three separate occasions – had asked the ECHR in Strasbourg to look into his case as he believed that the Italian court’s decision was too harsh and personally targeted him out of political animus.

The ECHR, however, found that no special circumstances relating to human rights had been violated when Berlusconi was forced to give up a career as an elected official.

Berlusconi was found guilty of tax fraud in 2012 and received a four-year prison sentence and was later disqualified from standing for election for six years beginning on August 1, 2013. That ban was later switched to a single year of community service, while he was temporarily barred from holding public office and stripped of his seat in parliament.

Known for his flamboyant lifestyle and his close personal friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the 82-year-old Berlusconi has also been brought up on charges for paying €500,000 in cash to businessman Gianpaolo Tarantini to lie about claims that he supplied Berlusconi with prostitutes, many of them underage, while the latter served as prime minister.

Berlusconi has already had one conviction connected to soliciting sexual services from women for money.  He was slapped with a seven-year prison sentence, which has since been overturned, for having paid a then-17-year-old Moroccan prostitute named Karima El Mahroug for her services in 2010.

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