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12th Jun 2023

Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi dies aged 86

Charlie Herbert

Silvio Berlusconi dies aged 86

He was readmitted to hospital last week

Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian PM who faced numerous scandals, has died at the age of 86.

Italian media reported that he died at the San Raffaele hospital in Milan.

The billionaire media tycoon had been readmitted to hospital last week, after he was treated for over six weeks for a lung infection linked to chronic leukaemia.

After building Italy’s largest commercial TV network, Berlusconi was best known as the owner of football club AC Milan before he entered politics in 1994.

He first came to power in Italy that same year as leader of the centre-right Forza Italia party.

In total, he was Prime Minister of the country for nine years, over three separate terms between 1994 and 2011.

Most recently, he had returned to the Italian Senate after a national election last September.

But his political career was marred with controversy and scandal, and gained particularly infamy for his ‘bunga bunga’ parties.

In June 2013 he was found guilty of paying for sex with an underage prostitute and sentenced to seven years in prison. But a year later his conviction was quashed following an appeal from Berlusconi.

On August 1 2013, he was convicted of tax fraud by the Supreme Court and handed a four year prison sentence, but was exempted from direct imprisonment due to his age, and instead served his sentence doing unpaid community service.

Last year, he was widely condemned for blaming Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the war, and boasting about how he had shared birthday messages with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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