Berlusconi faces seven years in jail and a lifetime ban from public office

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been found guilty of abuse of power and sentenced to seven years in jail and a lifetime ban from the public office.

The verdict of the two-year long trial into underage sex with Moroccan teenager Karima el Mahroug - who goes by the stage name “Ruby Heart Stealer” - was announced today by a Milan court. Prosecutors had called for Berlusconi to spend six years behind bars, but the court extended this.

The verdict can be appealed twice before becoming final, which could take months or even years.

Ben Wedeman, CNN's senior international correspondent in Rome tweeted: