Italy court confirms Berlusconi ban from public office

ROME, March 18 (Reuters) - Italy's highest appeals court on Tuesday confirmed a two-year ban from public office for centre-right leader and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi over a conviction for tax fraud.

Berlusconi lawyer Niccolo Ghedini said he was "extremely disappointed" by the ruling of the Court of Cassation, which diminishes Berlusconi's hopes of running as a candidate in elections for the European Parliament in May.

Berlusconi had appealed against the ban handed down by a Milan appeals court in October last year. He also faces a four year prison sentence, commuted to one year likely to be spent doing community service, after he was found guilty in August 2013 of masterminding a complex system of tax evasion by his holding company Fininvest.