Italy's Berlusconi Sentenced to Community Service for Tax Fraud

An Italian court has ordered former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to spend the next year helping the elderly in a church-run nursing home as part of his conviction for tax fraud.

Berlusconi will spend four hours a week at the home outside Milan, keeping the residents company and taking them to religious services.

The former prime minister is still barred from parliament and running for political office, but he is allowed to take part in political campaigns and make restricted trips to Rome.

A court sentenced Berlusconi to four years in prison last year for tax fraud. It later cut the sentence to a year of community service.

It was the first time the ex-prime minister was sentenced after numerous trials on charges ranging from fraud to having sex with an teenage prostitute.

Berlusconi is one of Italy's richest men and still a major political force. He says all the charges against him were engineered by liberal political enemies.

VOA News / Apr. 17, 2014 08:18 KST