Silvio Berlusconi has had his share of bad days in court in recent years, but none worse than today. Italy's top court upheld his tax-fraud conviction and related one-year jail sentence, and almost every story calls it his "first definitive conviction" or some close variation after all his various charges. (See Reuters, AP, the BBC, and the New York Times.) The verdict could "mark the twilight of his long career," destabilize the 3-month-old government, and "potentially send tremors across the euro zone," adds Reuters.
As for Berlusconi himself, don't expect to see him head to jail anytime soon. The AP thinks it's highly unlikely that a court would send a 76-year-old first-time offender to prison, especially for only a one-year sentence. More likely is probation or perhaps house arrest. That decision is back in the hands of the lower court in Milan. The former prime minister might even be able to keep his current seat in the Senate, because the top court today also ordered a review of a five-year ban from public office imposed by the lower court. (Read more Silvio Berlusconi stories.)