Berlusconi Says He'd Choose Jail over Community Service
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has declared that he would do time behind bars if found definitively guilty of tax fraud, rather than take advantage of lenient punishment for being over 70.
“I will not go into exile. Nor will I accept being entrusted to social services, like a criminal who has to be reeducated,” Berlusconi has told the Libero daily, as cited by international media.
"If they convict me - if they assume that responsibility - then I'll go to jail," he said.
Italy's highest appeals court will hear Tuesday Berlusconi's final appeal against a four-year prison sentence and a ban from public office for tax fraud in connection with the purchase of broadcasting rights by his television network Mediaset.
In June, Berlusconi was sentenced to seven years in jail for paying for sex with an underage prostitute and abusing his power to hide the liaison, but the sentence was suspended to allow for a lengthy appeals process.
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