New immunity for Berlusconi

Looks like Silvio Berlusconi’s off the hook again. The upper chamber of the Italian Parliament passed a new law today allowing the prime minister  to excuse himself from attending court hearings on the grounds that his day-to-day obligations as premier constitute a "legitimate impediment" to doing so. The law will allow Berlusconi to suspend all ...

ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images
ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images
ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images

Looks like Silvio Berlusconi's off the hook again. The upper chamber of the Italian Parliament passed a new law today allowing the prime minister  to excuse himself from attending court hearings on the grounds that his day-to-day obligations as premier constitute a "legitimate impediment" to doing so. The law will allow Berlusconi to suspend all pending court hearings for up to 18 months. As Nick Squires of the Telegraph observes, assuming Berlusconi isn't unexpectedly ousted, 18 months should be sufficiently long enough for him to ride out the statute of limitations on his current charges.  

Lauding Parliament's decision, Maurizio Gasparri, a senator from Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, declared that the new law would "balance the relationship between the executive and judiciary" branches of government.

If you find that line tough to swallow, I suggest reading Portuguese novelist and Nobel Prize winner José Saramago's blistering attack on Berlusconi, which was originally published as an editorial titled "The Berlusconi Thing" in the Spanish newspaper El Pais (English translation available here).

Looks like Silvio Berlusconi’s off the hook again. The upper chamber of the Italian Parliament passed a new law today allowing the prime minister  to excuse himself from attending court hearings on the grounds that his day-to-day obligations as premier constitute a "legitimate impediment" to doing so. The law will allow Berlusconi to suspend all pending court hearings for up to 18 months. As Nick Squires of the Telegraph observes, assuming Berlusconi isn’t unexpectedly ousted, 18 months should be sufficiently long enough for him to ride out the statute of limitations on his current charges.  

Lauding Parliament’s decision, Maurizio Gasparri, a senator from Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party, declared that the new law would "balance the relationship between the executive and judiciary" branches of government.

If you find that line tough to swallow, I suggest reading Portuguese novelist and Nobel Prize winner José Saramago’s blistering attack on Berlusconi, which was originally published as an editorial titled "The Berlusconi Thing" in the Spanish newspaper El Pais (English translation available here).

Peter Williams is an editorial researcher at FP.

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