TIME Italy

Berlusconi Sentenced To Year of Community Service

Leader of Forza Italia party Silvio Berlusconi at the end of the consultations with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at the Quirinale Palace in Rome on Feb. 15, 2014.
Leader of Forza Italia party Silvio Berlusconi at the end of the consultations with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at the Quirinale Palace in Rome on Feb. 15, 2014. Tony Gentile—Reuters

Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to a year of community service on Tuesday for his tax fraud conviction last year. The 77-year-old will reportedly spend at least one half-day per week in an elderly care center in Milan

An Italian court sentenced the country’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to a year of community service on Tuesday, the BBC reports.

The sentence was a result of his conviction in 2013 for tax fraud linked to TV rights brought by his firm Mediaset. The case had been ongoing since the 1990s, and the alternative for the 77-year-old would have been house arrest. He avoided a prison sentence thanks to laws in Italy allowing for lenient sentences for people over the age of 70.

Berlusconi had denied the charges, accusing the judges of left-wing bias and of trying to neutralize his political stance. His conviction for a previous offence of paying for sex with an underage prostitute had already led to his expulsion from the Italian parliament and a six-year ban from standing for election.

The former Prime Minister will reportedly spend at least one half-day per week in a center for elderly and disabled people near his home in Milan as part of his community service. But his movements will be heavily restricted, including the requirements that he adhere to a curfew and that he not spend time with anyone else carrying a criminal conviction.

[BBC]

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