A Milan court on Monday convicted former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi (76) of paying for sex with an underage sex worker during infamous “bunga bunga” parties at his villa and then using his influence to try to cover it up. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and barred from public office for life — a sentence that could mean the end of his two-decade political career. However, there are two more levels of appeal before the sentence would become final, a process that can take months.
Berlusconi holds no official post in the current government, but remains influential in the uneasy ruling cross-party coalition.
The written explanation of the three female judges for arriving at the verdict will be submitted in the next few weeks.
This comes on the heels of Berlusconi’s tax-fraud conviction, which along with a four-year prison sentence and five—year ban on public office, have been upheld on a first appeal. It is headed to Italy’s highest court for a final appeal.