Italy’s Berlusconi sentenced to jail for tax fraud
Berlusconi’s jail sentence elicits cheers, sympathy
By Sara Rossi
MILAN | Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:35pm EDT

(Reuters) – Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to four years in jail on Friday for tax fraud in connection with the purchase of broadcasting rights by his Mediaset television company.

The 76-year-old billionaire media magnate, who was convicted three times during the 1990s in the first degree before being cleared by higher courts, has the right to appeal the ruling two more times before the sentence becomes definitive.

That process is likely to be lengthy and he will not be jailed unless he loses the final appeal. Even then, because the crime was committed when an amnesty to prevent prison overcrowding was in place, the maximum possible jail time would be one year.

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