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Italy: Ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi sentenced to one year's community service

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Italy: Ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi sentenced to one year's community service

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Silvio Berlusconi must do one year’s community service over tax fraud. It’s understood the 77-year-old will serve the court order at least one day a week at a home for the elderly and disabled near his estate outside Milan.

The alternative to community service for Italy’s former prime prime minister had been house arrest. He was spared prison when he was convicted as the Italian legal system is lenient to the over-70s.

The court in Milan also imposed a travel ban on the billionaire who will not be allowed to go outside the Lombardy region where he lives except for trips to Rome from Tuesdays to Thursdays.

In a statement his lawyers said the decision was “satisfactory” given their client’s wishes to campaign for his Forza Italia party for seats in the May election for the European Parliament.

Berlusconi had been embroiled in a string of court cases and was convicted of tax fraud last year in connection with TV rights purchased by his company Mediaset in the 1990s.

The court ruling also bans him from standing as a candidate in elections and from meeting people with criminal convictions.

He has always protested his innocence and says he has been pursued by a left wing judiciary.