Ban on Berlusconi upheld by Supreme Court with modifications

By Marc Castro

Oct 19, 2013 12:41 PM EDT

Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian Prime Minister, who was banned from holding public office after being convicted of tax fraud, had his sentence reduced to two years by an appeals court in Milan.

The original ban was for five years, according to a statement released through a phone call by a court officer. Berlusconi's lawyer Niccolo Ghedini had said they would appeal the ruling to the Italian Supreme Court. This move was confirmed by the Ansa Newswire though Ghedini was not available to provide a comemnt when contacted by phone.

The former Italian strongman's political influence is slowly eroding far from what he had wielded in the past twenty years. This is clearly highlighted as his legal issues grow and intensify. Even senior members of his political party had turned on him during a confidence vote last October 2. including current Prime Minister Enrico Letta who refused to come to help him. Berlusconi is set to face possible expulsion from the Senate through a vote in the coming few weeks.

The conviction comes from his Mediaset SpA tax evasion findings from 2002 and 2003. The judgement had become final as all appeals were exhausted last Aug 1, when the Italian Supreme Court upheld the verdict of the lower court as well as the ban on holding public office. 

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