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Berlusconi party MPs resigning to protest tax fraud conviction: media

Lawmakers of Italy's People of Freedom Party (PDL) presented their resignation from parliament to protest the tax fraud conviction against their party leader Silvio Berlusconi, media reports said Friday.

Local media reported that the Members of Parliament handed in their resignation to protest the landmark ruling against Berlusconi.

The PDL leaders in the lower and upper houses, including Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, a senior member of Berlusconi's PDL, said they intended to submit their lawmakers' resignations to President Giorgio Napolitano.

"We are ready to resign to defend our ideal," Angelino Alfano was quoted as saying.

The Italian Supreme Court on Thursday made definitive a tax fraud conviction for former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, confirming a four-year jail term and ordering a new appeal trial for a related ban on public office.

The highest court's decision, which came after 12 years of trial, was the first definitive conviction after dozens of cases against the media tycoon and three-time premier since he entered politics some two decades ago.

The 76-year-old has denied all charges against him, saying that he never had offshore accounts and he did not know about alleged bribes to what he defined a few "unfaithful" managers.

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta from the centre-left Democratic Party, urged to preserve the stability of the government for the good of the country, the eurozone's third largest economy.

[Source: Xinhua, Rome, 02Aug13]

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Informes sobre corrupción y crimen organizado
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