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Letta says Berlusconi ruling will have no effect on Italian government

July 29, 2013 at 3:31 PM
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ROME, July 29 (UPI) -- Italian Premier Enrico Letta said Monday an upcoming court ruling on former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's prison term would not affect his government.

The Supreme Court of Cassation is expected to rule Tuesday on the four-year sentence given Berlusconi after his tax fraud case. If the court upholds the verdict, his prison term and a five-year ban on holding public office, will take effect.

Some lawmakers in Berlusconi's center-right People of Freedom Party have threatened to pull its support from Letta's fragile coalition government unless the sentence is overturned. There is also speculation members of Letta's center-left Democratic Party could pull out, unhappy over governing with a partner led by a figure with a criminal conviction, the Italian news agency ANSA said Monday.

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