Home World Europe News Silvio Berlusconi to appeal against tax fraud jail sentence

Silvio Berlusconi to appeal against tax fraud jail sentence

Silvio Berlusconi’s lawyers are to appeal against his jail sentence for tax fraud, Italian media has reported.

The appeal will be lodged by 10 November, reports said, and could take several years.

Former Prime Minister Silvie Berlusconi and others were convicted of inflating the price of distribution rights bought by his Mediaset group to avoid paying taxes.

On Friday a Milan court sentenced him to four years but later cut it to one.

The media mogul was also barred from holding office for five years.

A furious Silvio Berlusconi later went on national television to condemn the sentence as “intolerable judicial harassment”.


He has long complained that he is being persecuted by left-leaning judges in Milan.

“It is a political, incredible and intolerable judgement,” Silvio Berlusconi said on Italia 1 – one of the TV stations he owns.

“It is without any doubt a political verdict just as all the cases invented against me are political.”

Silvio Berlusconi’s lawyers are to appeal against his jail sentence for tax fraud

Silvio Berlusconi’s lawyers are to appeal against his jail sentence for tax fraud

Silvio Berlusconi has faced a number of trials but it is the first time he has been sentenced for any crime concerning his business activities.

He has in the past either been cleared, or cases have run beyond the judicial time limit.

In 1997 Silvio Berlusconi received a suspended sentence for false book-keeping but that conviction was reversed on appeal.

In the latest case, prosecutors said that part of the money declared for the purchase of US film rights was skimmed off to create illegal slush funds, reducing tax liabilities for Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset group.

The court handed Silvio Berlusconi a longer sentence than the three years and eight months requested by prosecutors. However, it later announced that the sentence would be cut to one year due to a 2006 amnesty law aimed at reducing prison overcrowding.

It ordered him and his co-defendants to pay 10 million euros in damages.

Both the jail term and the ban from holding office will only take effect if the sentence is upheld by a higher court.

Silvio Berlusconi is unlikely ever to serve his sentence as the conviction first has to be confirmed by two successive courts of appeal.

Those appeals could take years.

In February a court threw out a corruption case against him after the statute of limitations had expired.

Silvio Berlusconi is also currently on trial charged with paying for sex with an underage girl and trying to cover it up. He denies any wrongdoing.

Silvio Berlusconi, 76, was forced to resign as prime minister of a centre-right coalition last November, and recently said he had no plans to stand again in elections due next year.