Berlusconi seeks early end to fraud sentence

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Silvio Berlusconi was convicted of tax fraud in 2013. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP
12:14 CET+01:00
Silvio Berlusconi on Wednesday requested an early end to his sentence for tax fraud, with the ex-premier asking for his visits to an elderly care home in Milan to be stopped.

Berlusconi has served eight months of a one-year sentence for tax fraud over film distribution rights at his Mediaset company.

The 78-year-old politician has now asked a Milan court to shave a month and a half off the sentence, which if approved would see him free in March, Il Giornale reported.

Spending four hours a week at the Cesano Boscone care home has given the three-time prime minister “cause for reflection on the condition of the elderly,” the ex-premier told Il Giornale.

The newspaper - which is owned by the Berlusconi family - unabashedly described the centre-right leader as a “model prisoner” for showing up for the care home shifts and and respecting his curfew.

Berlusconi could also see his two-year ban from public office dropped, Il Giornale claimed, although such a move would face fierce opposition in Rome.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was this week forced to announce changes to the tax decree after an outcry over what was termed the “Save-Berlusconi” measure. The government’s new move to tackle tax evasion was quickly changed after politicians protested that it could see Berlusconi’s conviction quashed.

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The Mediaset verdict in August 2013 was Berlusconi’s first definitive conviction in a political career which has been beset by corruption allegations.

Italy’s lenient approach to non-violent convicts over the aged of 70 saved him from jail, yet Berlusconi’s age could not stop him being stripped of his Senate seat and banned from running in elections.

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