Silvio Berlusconi should be expelled from parliament, says Italian Senate committee

Cross-party group voted in favour of barring him from upper chamber

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The Independent Online

Silvio Berlusconi’s political death by a thousands cuts continued today when a Senate committee recommended he be expelled from parliament.

The cross-party group voted in favour of barring him from the upper chamber in line with anti-corruption legislation that demands convicted criminals lose their seats.

Berlusconi was found guilty of tax fraud relating to his media empire by the Supreme Court in August. 

The entire Senate, in which the 77-year-old tycoon’s opponents are in the majority, will now vote on the recommendation by the end of the month. 

His supporters in the Senate attacked the committee’s decision. Pdl Senate whip Renato Schifani said it “went beyond every limit of acceptability“. 

In a desperate attempt to save his Senate seat, Berlusconi has asked the European court to dismiss the tax-fraud conviction.

Observers expect, however that he will lose his seat later this month.

Today’s news comes just two days after Berlusconi was forced to make a humiliating U-turn and back the left-right coalition of Enrico Letta in a confident vote after it became clear dozens of his Pdl (People of Freedom) Senators were rebelling against his orders to bring down the administration.

Later this month the mogul is due to begin either a year of house arrest of community service as punishment for the tax offence.

Pundits across the spectrum have said the events mark an irreversible decline in the three-time premier’s fortunes.