A Milan appeals court on Saturday ruled that Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister with a lifetime of court battles under his belt, should be barred from holding political office for two years following a conviction for tax fraud.
The court was ordered by the Italian Supreme Court to determine the length of the political ban in connection with the media mogul’s tax fraud conviction and four-year jail term, after prosecutors conceded mistakes in the original five-year ban.
Berlusconi, 77, is already facing the loss of his Senate seat after losing his final appeal in the tax fraud case this summer, under a 2012 law stipulating that anyone convicted to more than two years in prison is forbidden from participating in politics for six years.
If the Senate votes to remove Berlusconi, he will forfeit his parliamentary immunity from prosecution in a number of criminal cases.
He will also be forced to serve a year under house arrest, or performing some sort of community service, which is his preferred option, according to a request he submitted to the court last week.
With the loss of his Senate seat pending, the leader of Forza Italia earlier this month made a desperate bid to bring down the government by threatening to yank his five Cabinet ministers out of government.
But in a rare swipe at Berlusconi’s authority, supporters aligned themselves with the forces of “stability” instead, voting to support the government of Premier Enrico Letta.
The flamboyant Italian politician and billionaire tycoon has grabbed headlines in the past not only for his brash political and business style, but for the adventures of his private life as well.
Read the full article at: rt.com