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Berlusconi temporarily resigns as 'knight'

Ex-premier takes step after Cassation Court ruling

19 March, 18:39
Berlusconi temporarily resigns as 'knight' (ANSA) - Rome, March 19 - Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi on Wednesday temporarily resigned as a cavaliere, refering to the "knight of labour" award he received as a businessman in 1977.

Often referred to in the media as "il Cavaliere", Berlusconi said in a letter he would temporarily step down.

His move came just as the executive council of Italy's national federation of knights of labour was deciding whether to strip him of the title because the Italian supreme Cassation Court upheld the ex-premier's conviction for tax fraud.

The definitive conviction was Berlusconi's first in nearly 20 years of legal entanglements.

On Tuesday, Italy's supreme court upheld a two-year ban from office for Berlusconi over the tax-fraud conviction.