Berlusconi Kicked Out of Senate

Italian Senate expels him following tax fraud conviction
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2013 12:20 PM CST
Berlusconi Kicked Out of Senate
Silvio Berlusconi listens to hymn of his party Forza Italia (Let's Go Italy) at the end of a rally in Rome, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Silvio Berlusconi won't be holding public office for at least six years after the Italian Senate expelled him from Parliament today. Berlusconi called today a "day of mourning for democracy" ahead of the vote, which is related to his tax fraud conviction, as thousands of his supporters cheered in front of his Roman palazzo and a video montage of his "political hits" played, the AP reports. The vote was tied to a 2012 law that decrees anyone sentenced to more than two years in prison cannot hold or run for public office for six years.

Berlusconi's conviction—which was upheld by Italy's high court in August—brought with it a four-year sentence, which was reduced to one year under a general amnesty. Berlusconi has been fighting the Senate vote tooth and nail, claiming the 2012 law was passed after his alleged crimes and can't be applied retroactively. Of course, Italian media points out he has attended just one Senate meeting since April. He still faces a lifetime political ban for that little problem with the underage prostitute. (More Silvio Berlusconi stories.)

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