Berlusconi asks to serve his tax fraud sentence as community service
- POSTED: 11 Oct 2013 20:24
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Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has asked to serve his 12-month sentence for tax fraud in the form of community service, his lawyers said on Friday.
ROME: Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has asked to serve his 12-month sentence for tax fraud in the form of community service, his lawyers said on Friday.
The supreme court on August 1 turned down Berlusconi's second and final appeal in the tax fraud case, handing him his first ever definitive conviction in a long history of legal woes.
Because of his age, the 77-year-old will not have to go to prison and had a choice of asking for either house arrest or community service, which would afford him greater freedom of movement.
If Berlusconi's request is accepted, a court in Rome, where Berlusconi has officially declared residence, will decide what form the service will take, a legal source close to Berlusconi told AFP.
The flamboyant tycoon could find himself working in an old people's home, stacking shelves in a supermarket or cleaning up graffiti, although this is seen as unlikely.
Berlusconi, who has always sworn his innocence in the case, had initially rejected doing community service "like a common criminal".
However, experts say it is the option that would give him the most freedom since under the rules of house arrest in Italy, a criminal has to make a specific request for every movement outside.
Procedural delays mean that the billionaire magnate's punishment is not likely to be meted out before next year.