Berlusconi contests ban from Italy public office to European court

Lawyers for Silvio Berlusconi will argue against his ban on holding public office on Wednesday at the European Court of Human Rights, Reuters said. A green light could allow him to run for prime minster at Italy’s election early next year. The four-time PM appealed to the Strasbourg court in 2013 after a criminal conviction for tax fraud triggered his expulsion from the senate and a ban from holding office until 2019. The billionaire media tycoon was widely written off after he quit as PM in 2011, but the 81-year-old has made a comeback and his Forza Italia (Go Italy!) party is now the linchpin of a center-right coalition which leads in the opinion polls.