Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has formally asked to do a year of community service rather than be jailed or put under house arrest after his conviction for tax fraud, a legal source said on Friday.
The centre-right leader, 77, was sentenced to four years in jail in August, commuted to one, for masterminding a massive tax fraud scheme at his Mediaset television empire.
Because of his age he is considered certain to be allowed to stay out of prison, making either house arrest or community service the most likely ways that he would serve his sentence.
Criminals assigned to community service normally work in non-profit organisations such as soup kitchens for the homeless, centers for drug addicts or groups offering assistance to the elderly. The legal source, who is involved in the case, did not say which type of community service Berlusconi had requested.
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It is not automatic that his request will be granted and legal experts say the hearing to decide will probably not take place for at least four months and possibly longer.