PoliticsHome | Only the latest five entries on the PhiWire are visible to non-subscribers
- Sign up to see last 24 hours
Dont have an account?Sign up here
Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to a year in jail for tax evasion.
The media tycoon, who stepped down as PM amid the eurozone crisis in November last year, has also been banned from holding political office for five years.
Mr Berlusconi was originally sentenced to four years in prison but within hours his term was commuted to one year under an Italian law passed to ease jail overcrowding.
A Milan court delivered the verdict against Mr Berlusconi and 10 other defendants after a six-year fraud trial.
Prosecutors allege the defendants used offshore companies and falsely declared payments, as part of a scheme to purchase the rights to broadcast American films on Mr Berlusconi's television stations.
However the mogul - who announced two days ago that he would not run for prime minister in upcoming elections - is expected to appeal against the decision.
"It is a political, incredible and intolerable judgement," Mr Berlusconi told a TV station. "It is without any doubt a political verdict just as all the cases invented against me are political."
Full access for £22 a month...PoliticsHome PRO Find out more
Summaries and transcripts from TV and radio
21/08/2014 on BBC News
21/08/2014 on The World at One, BBC Radio 4
21/08/2014 on The World At One, BBC Radio 4