Former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi dies
Italian billionaire and Italy’s longest-serving prime minister Silvio Berlusconi died Monday. He was 86. Berlusconi was hospitalized in Milan on Friday to treat chronic leukemia.
Who was Berlusconi? Supporters said Berlusconi had respect for everyone and remembered him as a great leader. His opponents viewed him as a threat to democracy, citing his friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Berlusconi used his television networks and wealth to kickstart his political career—launching his political party, Forza Italia, in 1993. He served as prime minister four times for a total of nine years. In a series of scandals, he faced embezzlement charges, paying for sex with a minor, and attempting to bribe a judge. Most of the charges didn’t stick, but he was convicted of tax evasion in 2012 over a deal involving television rights. The Court of Milan granted him “rehabilitation” in 2018, allowing him to run for a seat in Parliament again. He was elected in 2019 at 83 years old and was still in office at the time of his death.
Dig deeper: Read Onize Ohikere’s report in World Tour on the political climate when Berlusconi was elected.
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