FORMER Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been hit with a two-year ban preventing him from running for public office.
The Court of Cassation, Italy’s highest appeals court, has upheld a judgement against him by the appeals court in Milan, following a conviction for tax fraud.
Berlusconi was said by his lawyer to be “disappointed” at the ruling, which will mean he cannot run in the elections for European parliament in May this year.
Mariastella Gelmini, a deputy in Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, called the ruling: “abnormal and unjust,” adding: “There is an ideological prejudice against Berlusconi that annuls the rights of the defence.”
The former Italian PM is also facing a potential four-year prison sentence.