Silvio Berlusconi suffered a significant legal blow on Wednesday in Rome, when the lower house of Parliament voted against granting immunity to People of Freedom Party deputy Alfonso Papa.
Papa is under investigation in Naples for a number of corruption charges. Thanks to Berlusconi, Papa had a temporary immunity from his alleged crimes, but the vote will allow the lawmaker to be arrested and tried.
The vote came as a surprise to the Italian Prime Minister, whose party and allies held a majority of parliamentary seats. Papa's continued immunity was voted down 319 to 298, a further sign that Italy is losing confidence in their demagogic leader.
Papa is accused of using illegally distributing documents to win favors with police chiefs, cabinet ministers, newspaper editors, business figures and magistrates.
Last month, the Italian people voted against four Berlusconi-backed proposals, including a nuclear energy initiative and a law that would make members of the ministerial cabinet immune from prosecution while in office.
The vote on Wednesday was done by secret ballot. At People of Freedom's request, MPs pushed either a yes or no button from their seat. Berlusconi's government hoped that opposition members would vote in their favor if they weren't pressured by their parties.
In proper Italian fashion, many parliamentarians made a grand gesture of the vote nonetheless, reportedly taking camera-phone pictures of them voting and sending them out to supporters.
This is the second legal setback to plague Berlusconi this week.
A judge on Monday decreed that Berlusconi's Ruby Heart Stealer case will finally set to go to. The Prime Minister is charged with having sex with underage prostitute Karima El Mahroug -- stage name Ruby. Berlusconi has attempted to get the trial thrown out or delayed on a number of occasions, but Both El Mahroug and Berlusconi deny that they had sexual intercourse.