A court in Milan Friday convicted former Premier Silvio Berlusconi of tax fraud and sentenced the media mogul to four years in prison, his first prison sentence in years of criminal probes. His sentence was reduced to one year under a 2006 law aimed at reducing prison overcrowding.
The 76-year-old billionaire businessman is expected to remain free until the appeals process is exhausted. In Italy, cases must pass two levels of appeal before the verdicts are final.
Speaking to his Mediaset TV station after his conviction on Friday, Berlusconi called his sentence “unreal” and said the ruling was the fault of “ politicized” judges.
Berlusconi received a suspended sentence in 1997 for false bookkeeping, but that conviction was reversed on appeal. Other criminal investigation probes against him on charges including corruption had ended in acquittal or were thrown out for statute of limitations.
Read more: France24