Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi hailed Wednesday his acquittal in the so-called "bunga bunga" affair, expressed regret for the discredit it brought him, and pledged to reinvigorate Italy's conservative opposition.

Late on Tuesday, a top appeals court issued a final non-guilty ruling, ending a five-year case that saw Berlusconi accused of soliciting sex from a minor and abusing his political position to hide the affair.

"Finally the truth. Today is a good day for politics, for justice, for the rule of law," Berlusconi wrote on his Facebook page. "Since I had nothing to blame myself for, I was sure of being proven right." The case centered on Karima El Mahroug, a dancer also known as Ruby Heart Stealer, who attended parties in 2010 at his villa when she was 17. In Italy, prostitution is not illegal, but knowingly soliciting sex from a minor is. - Deutsche Presse-Agentur