Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano has ruled out reversing a tax fraud conviction against Silvio Berlusconi.
He has issued a statement warning the former prime minister’s party that the law must take its course.
There is some small glimmer of hope for Berlusconi, however, as Napolitano also said he could pardon the 76-year-old media mogul in very restricted circumstances.
Earlier this month the supreme court confirmed a four-year jail term – commuted to one year – on the billionaire businessman.
But Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party has since argued that any curtailment of his political activity would rob 10 million people who voted for him in February’s election of their democratic choice.
Because of his age, Berlusconi is expected to serve the sentence under house arrest or doing community service.