Skip to main content

Appeals court upholds Berlusconi tax evasion sentence

By Hada Messia, CNN
updated 8:38 PM EDT, Wed May 8, 2013
Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's sentence for tax evasion has been upheld.
Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's sentence for tax evasion has been upheld.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Berlusconi can appeal a second time to a higher court
  • The former prime minister was convicted in October
  • He and others were accused of avoiding taxes on film purchases

Rome (CNN) -- An Italian appeals court in Milan upheld Wednesday a four-year prison sentence for former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Berlusconi, 76, received the sentenced last October when he was convicted for tax evasion. He was also barred from public office for five years.

Under Italian law, he can also appeal Wednesday's ruling to a higher court.

Berlusconi -- who served on and off as prime minister between 1994 and 2011 -- is arguably one of the most colorful and controversial figures in the lively history of Italian politics. For years, he has been entangled in fraud, corruption and sex scandals that have often reached Italian courts.

But the tax evasion case was the first one that resulted in a conviction.

His trial, which also involved executives from Berlusconi's Mediaset television group and the head of a Swiss bank, concerned the purchase of TV rights for films that were then resold within the group at inflated prices.

Prosecutors said the scheme, involving about 3,000 American films, allowed those involved to avoid a major tax bill.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 2:18 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While aspects of the fighting in Gaza resemble earlier clashes, this time feels different, writes military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 11:54 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
If India and the U.S. were Facebook friends, the relationship between them would undoubtedly be "complicated." Can the U.S. Secretary of State's visit change that?
updated 10:38 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
The death of an American from Ebola fuels fears of the further global spread of the virus.
updated 2:35 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Take a look inside Airbus' new -- and surprisingly quiet -- A350XWB.
updated 7:08 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Flowers, a teddy bear and the smells of jet fuel and death haunt the MH17 crash site.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Nearly two weeks after MH17 was blown out of the sky, Dutch investigators have yet to lay eyes on the wreckage. How useful will it be now?
updated 11:10 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
The U.S. and EU are imposing new sanctions on Moscow -- but will they have any effect?
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
updated 9:03 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT