TIME Italy

Berlusconi Begins First Day of Community Service

Silvio Berlusconi Starts Serving His Sentence At Fondazione Sacra Famiglia In Cesano Boscone
Pier Marco Tacca—Getty Images Berlusconi leaves the Fondazione Sacra Famiglia on May 9, 2014 in Milan, Italy.

The media tycoon kicked off the first day of a year-long sentence helping senior citizens suffering from Alzheimer's disease

The residents of a senior center outside of Milan got the ultimate surprise visitor on Friday: Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, reporting for duty.

The 77-year-old media tycoon was ordered to serve four hours a week at the center following his 2013 conviction for tax fraud. A Milanese court offered the sentence as an alternative to house arrest.

CNN reports that Berlusconi made no comments as he entered the Fondazione Sacra Famiglia, a residence for 20 patients suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Pippo Fiorito, a member of a health care worker’s union, staged a protest at the entrance, saying “His place is in a jail, not here.”

Berlusconi maintains his innocence, arguing that his conviction last August was politically motivated. He is barred from running for office for two years.


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