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Italy court bans Berlusconi from public office for 2 years

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attends the confidence vote for Enrico Letta's government at the Italian Senate, Palazzo Madama on Oct. 2, in Rome, Italy.Franco Origlia / Getty Images file

A Milan court ruled Saturday that former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi should be banned from holding public office for two years following a conviction for tax fraud.

Berlusconi's lawyers said they will appeal the decision to the supreme court. They had asked for a one-year ban, the minimum punishment in this case.

The two-year ban will not have an immediate effect. As a senator, Berlusconi's expulsion depends on a separate vote in the upper house of parliament.

Expulsion is a punishment reserved for any parliamentarian who is sentenced to more than two years.

The Senate vote should take place by the end of the year. 

Italy's supreme court on Aug. 1 upheld a tax fraud conviction, rejecting Berlusconi's final appeal against an earlier four-year jail sentence. 

If the supreme court upholds the re-calculation of the ban, as it is widely expected to do, Berlusconi will not be able to vote or run for public office for two years. 

Reuters contributed to this report.