Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi died at a hospital in Milan on Monday. He was 86.

He had been suffering from chronic leukaemia and had recently developed a lung infection, reported Deutsche Welle.

A state funeral for the former prime minister will be held on Wednesday.

Berlusconi was Italy’s longest-serving premier despite scandals over his sex parties and allegations of corruption. He served as Italy’s prime minister four times – in 1994-’95, 2001-’05, 2005-’06 and 2008-’11.

In 2013, he was convicted in a case of tax fraud and was banned from holding public office for five years, according to Reuters. He, however, continued to remain the official head of his right-wing Forza Italia party. The party is currently a junior partner in Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s coalition government.

Meloni on Monday remembered Berlusconi as her longtime ally and said he was “above all a fighter”, according to CNN.

“He was a man who was never afraid to stand up for his beliefs,” she said. “ And it was exactly that courage and that determination that made him one of the most influential men in the history of Italy.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is considered a close friend of Berlusconi, remembered him as a “dear person” and “true friend”.