Berlusconi banned from public office for two years

Berlusconi banned from public office for two years

An Italian court Saturday banned former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from holding public office for two years following a conviction for tax fraud, Xinhua reported.

The ruling by the Milan court came after the country's apex court upheld a conviction for tax fraud of Berlusconi's television network in August.

Saturday's ruling reflected the prosecution's request for a two-year ban. Berlusconi's lawyers, who can appeal before the Supreme Court, pleaded for a one-year ban -- the minimum under the law that was being applied in the Milan court. The maximum would have been three years.

The tax fraud conviction was the first final verdict for Berlusconi in two decades of legal battle. It also included a jail term which was reduced from four years to one year.

Berlusconi has filed a request in the Milan court to do one year of social work rather than house arrest to serve the verdict.

The Senate is expected to vote next week whether to expel the 77-year-old former prime minister following the verdict.

The three-time premier and media tycoon is appealing to the European Court of Human Rights. He is also appealing against other sentences in separate probes on paying a minor for sex and for being involved in the publication of an illegally obtained wiretap.

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