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Berlusconi jailed!


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Silvio Berlusconi sentenced to four years in jail for tax fraud

Italian former prime minister, who also faces accusations of sex with underage prostitute, can appeal twice more against ruling

Silvio Berlusconi and his co-defendants were also told to pay damages provisionally set at €10m.

guardian.co.uk, Fri 26 Oct 2012 16.24 BST

An Italian court has sentenced Silvio Berlusconi to four years in jail for tax fraud in connection with the purchase of broadcasting rights by his Mediaset television company.

The former Italian prime minister has the right to appeal against the ruling two more times before the sentence becomes definitive and will not be jailed unless the final appeal is upheld.

Prosecutors had asked for a jail sentence of three years and eight months.

The court also ordered damages provisionally set at €10m to be paid by Berlusconi and his co-defendants to tax authorities.

The ruling comes two days after Berlusconi, 76, confirmed he would not run in next year's elections as the leader of his centre-right People of Freedom (PDL) party.

A separate trial over accusations that Berlusconi paid for sex with an underage prostitute is currently being heard in Milan. He denies all charges against him.

The four-time prime minister and other Mediaset executives stood accused of inflating the price paid for TV rights via offshore companies controlled by Berlusconi, and skimming off part of the money to create illegal slush funds.

Angelino Alfano, secretary of the PDL, said the ruling proved once again "judicial persecution" of the media-magnate, while a political rival, Antonio Di Pietro, a former magistrate, hailed the decision, saying: "The truth has been exposed."

The court acquitted the Mediaset chairman and long-term Berlusconi friend Fedele Confalonieri, for whom prosecutors had sought a sentence of three years and four months.

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Berlusconi sentence reduced to 12 months

26 October 2012

AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has had his original four-year jail sentence reduced to 12 months.

The 76-year-old was originally handed a four-year jail sentence and a 10-million-euro fine on Friday, for his part in a tax fraud scandal, but the sentence was later cut thanks to the application of a 2006 Amnesty Law aimed at reducing overcrowding in prisons.

Berlusconi, along with 10 others, was on trial after it was alleged that the defendants were involved in a scheme to purchase American movies for his company Mediaset through an offshore firm and had failed to properly declare payments so as to avoid taxes.

It was also claimed that Berlusconi had re-licensed the films, and pocketed the difference, making the Milan supremo some 250 million euros.

The former Italian Prime Minister has been involved in a number of legal procedures to do with his business ventures, but has either been cleared, or the cases have been dropped due to time constraints.

Berlusconi, who was not in court on Friday to hear the verdict, served as Prime Minister of Italy between 1994 and 1995, 2001 and 2006, and 2008 and 2011, but recently announced that he would not be running for a fourth term.

Mental :lol:

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