January 7, 2015 / 3:28 PM / in 3 years

Berlusconi asks for community service to end early

MILAN (Reuters) - Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has asked for a one-year community service sentence he is serving for tax fraud to be reduced by 45 days, legal sources said on Wednesday.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi looks on as he arrives at the Sacred Family Foundation, where he will serve part of his one-year tax fraud sentence by doing community service with the elderly, in Cesano Boscone, a small town on the outskirts of Milan in this May 9, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/Files

The request was lodged with a Milan court and a decision on the matter could come as early as next week, the sources said.

Last year, the 78-year-old Berlusconi had a four-year jail sentence commuted into an obligation to spend four hours a week at a center for the elderly, a ruling that restricted his movements but not his party political activity.

The four-time prime minister, still the most influential politician in Italy’s center-right, kicked off his community work last May, though the period officially runs from April 23.

After completing the first six months, the billionaire media tycoon was eligible for his one-year community service sentence to be cut to 10 1/2 months.

In the request sent to the Milan court and seen by Reuters, Berlusconi’s lawyers said the duties performed as part of his community service had “enriched” his process of rehabilitation.

It was not possible to obtain a comment from Berlusconi or his lawyers.

Reporting by Manuela D'Alessandro; Writing by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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