ROME (Reuters) - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said on Tuesday a jail sentence for Silvio Berlusconi must be applied, indicating that he will not pardon the former prime minister.
Members of Berlusconi's center-right party had pressured the 88-year-old president to exercise his powers of presidential pardon to annul a tax fraud conviction that threatens Berlusconi's future in politics.
"Any definitive sentence, and the consequent obligation of applying it, cannot but be taken into account," Napolitano said in a statement in which he urged the importance of avoiding a government crisis over the issue.
Napolitano said he had never received a request for a pardon from Berlusconi.
(Reporting by Naomi O'Leary; Editing by Agnieszka Flak)