Italy Senate expels Berlusconi from parliament

Updated: 2013-11-28 10:42


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Italy Senate expels Berlusconi from parliament

Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi closes his eyes during a speech in downtown Rome November 27, 2013. The Italian Senate opened its debate on expelling Silvio Berlusconi on Wednesday, ahead of an evening vote that is expected to see the veteran centre-right leader stripped of his seat in parliament over a tax fraud conviction. [Photo/Agencies]

ROME - The Italian Senate on Wednesday expelled Silvio Berlusconi from parliament following his conviction for tax fraud, in what the centre-right leader called a day of mourning for Italian democracy.

The Senate speaker declared he was ineligible for a seat in parliament after the house rejected a series of challenges by Berlusconi's supporters to a proposal for his expulsion. No formal vote was held.

Berlusconi was sentenced in August to four years in prison, commuted to a year under house arrest or in community service, for masterminding an illegal scheme to reduce the tax bill of his media company Mediaset.

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