According to Italian Constitution, the President can pardon offenders or reduce their sentences. Mr Berlusconi’s party openly asked President Giorgio Napolitano to do so.
There are some obstacles, however.
First of all, President Napolitano made clear that he is not going to grant a pardon but on Mr Berlusconi’s direct request: something embarrassing for a strong man like the Cavaliere.
Secondly a presidential pardon is – like every official act in Italy – the result of a long and complex proceeding involving the Ministry of Justice and the Criminal Courts. But Mr Berlusconi is supposed to start serving his sentence already in Autumn. Around the same time, he could be expelled from the Senate.
That could be enough to trigger a Government crisis.