Berlusconi eligible to run for office again

Silvio Berlusconi

MILAN – A court ruling has allowed the former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, to run for office again, officials say.

 State police in Milan and Rome, as well as Carabinieri from Monza, released a statement on Saturday saying that the Forza Italia leader met the relevant “good conduct requirements”. They also considered the fact that no reports of “negative” behaviour had been filed against the 81-year-old.

 The billionaire media tycoon was banned from running for office or holding an electoral position for six years because of a 2013 conviction for tax fraud in his media empire. This was due to expire in 2019.

 However, the Supervisory Court acknowledged that the politician had paid the compensation money, which came to more than 10.5 million euros, and served his prison sentence by doing community service at the Catholic hospice “Sacra Famiglia”, in Cesano Boscone. In addition, the media mogul had also paid the “court costs” of about 1.5 million euros.

 The Italian tribunal therefore decided to lift the ban a year early because of his “good conduct”, and allow him to seek public office again.

 The centre-right party, Forza Italia, which Berlusconi founded over 25 years ago, released a statement saying: “Finally five years of injustice have come to an end”.

 According to Milan’s Prosecutor General, Roberto Alfonso, the district attorney have 15 days to decide whether they’ll appeal the tribunal's decision.