Berlusconi Sentence Reduced to One Year
Former Italian premier is expected to appeal
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 26, 2012 10:07 AM CDT
Updated Oct 26, 2012 2:40 PM CDT
Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi waves as he arrives at a court hearing in Milan, Italy, on Oct. 19.   (AP Photo/Gian Mattia D'Alberto, Lapresse)

(Newser) – A court in Italy has convicted former Premier Silvio Berlusconi of tax fraud and sentenced him to four years in prison—but the court quickly reduced the sentence to one year as part of a movement to reduce prison overcrowding, the Telegraph reports. In Italy, cases must pass two levels of appeal before the verdicts are final, and Berlusconi is expected to appeal. The 76-year-old wasn't in the courtroom today for the verdict on the case stemming from dealings in his Mediaset business empire.

Prosecutors had alleged that the defendants were behind a scheme to purchase the rights to broadcast US movies on Berlusconi's private TV networks through a series of offshore companies and had falsely declared the payments to avoid taxes. In this and other cases against him, Berlusconi has described himself as the innocent victim of prosecutors he contends sympathize with the left. He is also on trial in Milan on charges of having paid an under-age Moroccan teen for sex and trying to cover it up. Berlusconi, who stepped down in November, announced earlier this week that he would not run for a fourth term.

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Oct 27, 2012 9:30 AM CDT
im so fed up with this dipshit i'd wish I had a chance to choke him slowly with my bare hands. i'd love every second of it. today he ... retired his retirement from politics (announced the day before) in order to "fight the evil italian justice" or something like that. quousque tandem, berlusconi, abutere patientia nostra ? the good thing is, his crapper party is falling headlong under the daily (DAILY) huge scandals involving his men being found with millions of stolen public money in their pockets. this fucker silvio berlusconi is a one-man-gang. he's by himself a mafia syndicate and one of the biggest disgraces of italy in history. he is the Oskar Schindler of gangsters and thieves.
Oct 27, 2012 1:24 AM CDT
A year. A year in is palace. He'll never walk into a prison.
Oct 26, 2012 6:53 PM CDT
And to think that Romney is now tied to helping Berlusconi getting his sentence reduced! The republicons will have the story removed as soon as possible, no doubt!