Court puts off Berlusconi case decision 1 more day

FRANCES D'EMILIO
July 31, 2013
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Francesca Pascale, girlfriend of Italian former Premier Silvio Berlusconi, holds her dog as she leaves his residence in Rome, Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Berlusconi is waiting in his home in Rome for the decision that will change his political fate as Italy's highest court hears arguments in the former premier's fraud conviction. Berlusconi has been convicted of tax fraud in a complex TV rights transaction for his Mediaset network, and sentenced to four-years in prison with a five-year ban on public office. This is his final appeal. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

ROME (AP) — An Italian court hearing Silvio Berlusconi's high court challenge to his tax fraud conviction will wait until Thursday to deliberate.

Chief Justice Antonio Esposito put off the deliberations one more day after Berlusconi's reinforced defense team wrapped up 2 ½ hours of arguments Wednesday.

Esposito cited the late hour and the importance of the case.

Berlusconi, a three-time former premier, risks a swift halt to his 20-year political career if the high court confirms the conviction, a four-year jail term and five-year ban on political office.