Italian Senate panel recommends Berlusconi lose Senate seat, full chamber to vote by Oct. 14

A Senate committee has recommended that Silvio Berlusconi lose his Senate seat due to his tax fraud conviction.

The committee's vote on Friday was the focus of Italy's latest political crisis. But the threat was removed when Premier Enrico Letta survived a confidence this week provoked by Berlusconi's moves to topple the government.

The full Senate now must vote on whether to remove Berlusconi by Oct. 14. It will be a further weakening of the three-time former premier's political potency. He suffered his first defeat within his own party when ministers refused to obey his call to bolt the government.

The committee's vote was based on a law banning anyone sentenced to more than two years from political office for six years. Berlusconi's tax fraud sentence was four years.