Former Italian PM Berlusconi set to do one year's community service

Tuesday 15 April 2014 20.52
Silvio Berlusconi will have to respect a curfew and will be limited in his movements
Silvio Berlusconi will have to respect a curfew and will be limited in his movements

An Italian court has ordered former prime minister and billionaire tycoon Silvio Berlusconi to do a year of community service following his conviction for tax fraud.

Berlusconi will have to respect a curfew and will be limited in his movements in a further humiliation for the 77-year-old.

He has been expelled from parliament and is banned from running in elections for six years.

In early March a Milan court rejected a request by Berlusconi to leave Italy to attend a conference in Ireland.

He was stripped of his passport last year, when he was convicted of tax fraud and sentenced to four years in prison.

Berlusconi, leader of the centre-right Forza Italia party, wanted to attend the European People's Party conference in Dublin on 6-7 March.

However, he cannot travel abroad unless he is granted a temporary permit by judges.

His sentence was commuted to a year under house arrest or in community service.

Berlusconi, who accuses magistrates of waging a politically motivated campaign against him, has denied wrongdoing as well as suggestions that he might flee abroad.

Last December, he made a legal attempt to reclaim his passport by arguing that the travel ban violated Europe's Schengen accord on the free movement of citizens. The court rejected that argument.

The 77-year-old billionaire media tycoon was forced to quit as prime minister in November 2011, as Italy teetered on the brink of a Greek-style debt crisis.

Berlusconi's lawyers have said the court ruling on community service is satisfactory given his political activity needs.

Keywords: italy