Silvio Berlusconi, the billionaire former Italian prime minister, was found guilty of tax fraud and sentenced to four years in prison in a film-rights case involving his Mediaset SpA (MS) television company.
Berlusconi, 76, was barred from public office for a period of time, according to a sentence read today by a judge in Milan.
Fedele Confalonieri, chief executive officer of Berlusconi’s media company Mediaset SpA and a co-defendant in the trial, was absolved by the court.
The ruling came in the same week that the three time prime- minister announced that he would not run in the premiership in election due by May. Berlusconi has accused prosecutors of trying to destroy him politically.