Silvio Berlusconi was expelled from the Senate last
November after being convicted for tax fraud.
An Italian government agency has asked a court whether
former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi can serve a one-year
sentence for tax fraud by working in a centre for the elderly,
judicial sources said.
The 77-year old center-right leader has dominated politics in
Italy for decades, but was expelled from the Senate last
November after being convicted for tax fraud at his Mediaset
television network. A four-year sentence was commuted to one.
At a hearing on Thursday, judges are due to begin
deliberating whether Berlusconi, who denies the tax fraud
charge, should serve his time under house arrest or by doing
social work. Prison was always unlikely because of the media
mogul's age and the non-violent nature of the crime.
According to the proposal by the government social services
agency and deposited with the court, Berlusconi would work
just one day a week at the elderly centre, the judicial
The agency also proposed that Berlusconi be given the
possibility of finishing his sentence in nine months, instead
of a year, if his behaviour is impeccable, the sources said.
It was unclear whether the agency, which makes suggestions on
how to handle court sentences that require a convict to
undergo rehabilitation or work in social services, was acting
upon the request of Berlusconi's lawyers.