The bad news: they rejected his appeal of a verdict sentencing him to four years (reduced to one due to overcrowding). The good news: that one year might be served at home, where the hookers can come to him, and he might still be able to hold office!
Italy’s highest court on Thursday definitively confirmed a prison sentence for tax fraud for Silvio Berlusconi, dealing a severe blow to Italy’s most dramatic politician. But it also called for a re-examination of a ban on his holding public office, a compromise that might stave off an imminent collapse of Italy’s left-right coalition government...The decision by the Court of Cassation was the first time Mr. Berlusconi has received a definitive conviction in 20 years of tangles with Italy’s judicial system. In the other cases brought against Mr. Berlusconi over the years — which range from tax evasion to buying judges to embezzlement — he was either acquitted on appeal or the statute of limitations ran out. The ruling could upend his center-right People of Liberty party, more a charismatic movement than an ideologically coherent party, and also strain the center-left Democratic Party, elements of which have never liked sharing power with their former rival.
Mr. Berlusconi is still facing trial on charges of paying for sex with the Moroccan-born Karima el Mahroug, nicknamed Ruby Heartstealer, when she was still a minor, and abusing his office to cover it up. In the case upheld Thursday, prosecutors had argued that Mr. Berlusconi and other defendants bought the rights to broadcast American movies on his networks through a series of offshore companies and falsely declared how much they paid in order to avoid taxes. Experts had said that if the high court upheld the tax fraud sentence, Mr. Berlusconi, 76, would more likely face house arrest, considering his age.