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Italy's Berlusconi Faces 2-year Ban from Public Office

  • VOA News

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives at the central train station, Milan, Dec. 29, 2012.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives at the central train station, Milan, Dec. 29, 2012.

An Italian court has ruled that former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, convicted of tax fraud, should be barred from holding public office for two years.

However, Saturday's ruling against Berlusconi — a current senator — will have no immediate effect, until a vote in the upper house of parliament in coming weeks on whether to expel him from the Senate.

In August, Italy's Supreme Court turned down the media tycoon's second and final appeal against the tax fraud verdict, upholding his first definitive conviction after many years of legal challenges.

The 77-year-old Berlusconi, one of Europe's richest men, is not expected to be imprisoned for the tax fraud case. His four-year sentence has already been reduced to 12 months under an amnesty that his former government pushed through for crimes committed before 2006.

He is reported to have requested to serve that term in community service.

Separately, Berlusconi faces a seven-year prison term and a lifetime political ban after his conviction earlier this year of paying a minor for sex and then forcing officials to cover it up. Italian law allows two appeals of such convictions, and neither has yet been adjudicated.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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