UK & World News
Berlusconi Sentenced To Four Years In Jail
Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to four years in prison for tax fraud connected to his television channels.
An Italian court delivered the verdict against the ex-leader and 10 others in a six-year-old tax fraud trial.
Lawyers for the 76-year-old, who was also barred from holding political office for five years, said he will lodge an appeal before November 10.
Berlusconi's age, coupled with Italy's lengthy appeals process and statute of limitations, means he is unlikely to go to prison.
If he does, he will only serve one year due to a 2006 amnesty law aimed at reducing prison overcrowding.
The verdict came two days after Berlusconi announced he will not run for premier in upcoming elections.
During the trial, prosecutors alleged the defendants were behind a scheme to purchase the rights to broadcast US movies on Berlusconi's private Mediaset television networks through a series of offshore companies, and had falsely declared the payments to avoid taxes.
Prosecutors further alleged they inflated the price for the TV rights of some 3,000 films as they re-licensed them internally to Berlusconi's networks, pocketing the difference amounting to around ?250m (£200m).
Other charges of false accounting and false statements in financial reports were thrown out because the statute of limitations expired.
The court sentenced Berlusconi and his co-defendants to pay ?10m (£8m) to Italian tax authorities, a statement said.
The trial began in July 2006, but was put on hold by a now-defunct immunity law that shielded Berlusconi from prosecution while he was premier until it was watered down by the constitutional court.
The trial also faced delays as Berlusconi cited conflicts with his schedule as premier.
Berlusconi has been tried numerous times for his business dealings. He has always denied wrongdoing and alleged that the cases were politically motivated.
In each case to date, he has been cleared or seen the statute of limitations expire. The statute of limitations in this case is set to expire sometime next year.
Berlusconi also is on trial in Milan on charges of paying for sex with a prostitute and trying to cover it up.
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what do you think?
The verdict comes two days after Berlusconi, 76, announced he will not run for premier in upcoming elections. Lol At last heads of states going to prison. Computers and internet will track all illegal activities.
Best place for him.
I wish I had his life - sounds like he has lived it to the full!!
Poor ode bug-ger. No sex parties in gaol!!!
or maybe just not the sort he wants...
Lol he may come out a changed man.
i wonder what kinda prison. the guy is proper mafia he will get 3 course meals every day. dress how he likes cant see many prison officers telling him what to do i have a suspicion some people are going to have horses heads in there beds soon
Pity he was not a UK politician, a smack on the wrist would suffice
he is too old they say for him to go in to prison,he is not ,and will not be going or spending any time in prison,
Look at the picture and ask yourself 'would you buy a used car of this man?' but this is Italy. However I do wonder whether he is 1000% guilty or whether he upset someone like forgot to pay them.
At least we don't have people like him running the media in Britain...yet. But we would if the Tories had their way. Prevent serious issues being aired and fill people's heads with utter trash known as 'popular' and 'reality' shows.
Teflon Tony Blairs old chum eh?
Yes, didn't the blairs spend time at one of his villas ?
Wasnt that when he had his hair transplant!!!
hair transplant ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaa old slap head
Hopefully one day Tony Blair will follow suit
He looks well for his age mind
He won't spend a day in prison
He spends thousands trying to look young. I bet that as the days go by now he will start to look old and frail and ill.
He won't have to spend much doing it either.
Too old for prison, not too old for shenanigans with 18 year old belly dancers though...
Not long enough! Perhaps they should establish a geriatric wing.