The Italian Senate has voted to expel ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from parliament with immediate effect over his conviction for tax fraud.
According to report monitored on BBC, Berlusconi, who has dominated politics for 20 years, could now face arrest over other criminal cases as he has lost his immunity from prosecution. He told supporters in Rome it was a “day of mourning” for democracy.
Ahead of the vote, he vowed to remain in politics to lead his Forza Italia in a “fight for the good of Italy”. A defiant Berlusconi told supporters gathered outside his Rome residence that “no political leader has suffered a persecution such as he has lived through.
“It is a bitter day, a day of mourning. We must stay on the field, we must not despair if the leader of the centre-right is not a senator any more. There are leaders of other parties who are not parliamentarians.”
Berlusconi was convicted of tax fraud in October 2012 over deals his firm Mediaset made to purchase TV rights to US films. The verdict was upheld in August. He will have to serve a one-year sentence, probably under house arrest or by doing community service because of his age. He is 77.