Italian court upholds Berlusconi's public office ban

Berlusconi will be unable to run for European Parliamentary elections in May

Berlusconi will be unable to run for European Parliamentary elections in May

ROME - Italy’s Supreme Court upheld a public office ban for Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Tuesday after last year's penalty for tax evasion, impending him from running for European Parliamentary elections in May.

“I am extremely disappointed,” Berlusconi’s lawyer Niccolo Ghedini said, adding that he will address the issue to the Europe's top human rights court in Strasbourg.

Italy’s Court of Cassation convicted the 77-year old billionaire in mid 2013 for tax evasion over deals Mediaset made on purchasing TV rights, sentencing him to four year's imprisonment along with a public office ban for two years.

Berlusconi was exempted from direct imprisonment on three years sentenced in a ruling that dictates that those over 70 get an automatic pardon for direct imprisonment. Berlusconi instead served his sentence by doing community work. Last year, Berlusconi was also expelled from the Senate.

"Il Cavaliere" declared previously that he wants to stand for the European Parliamentary elections, however, with the court decision, this is now not possible. 

Meanwhile, Forza Italia’s member of parliament Mariastella Gelmini said that despite the court decision, Berlusconi will remain the leader of the party he founded.

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