London, Oct 27: A Milan court has condemned former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi as a man with a ‘natural capacity for crime’ while handing him a four year prison sentence for tax fraud.
The proceedings at the packed court in Milan amounted to one of the more humiliating episodes Berlusconi has faced.
According to the Telegraph, A judge pronounced that between 2000 and 2003, there had been “a very significant amount of tax evasion” and “an incredible mechanism of fraud” in place around the buying and selling of broadcasting rights for Berlusconi’s Mediaset television company.
The court found that Berlusconi and 10 co-defendants were behind a scheme by Mediaset to purchase the rights to broadcast American films on his private television networks through a series of offshore companies, and had falsely declared the payments to avoid taxes.
The court’s written ruling said he showed a ‘natural capacity for crime,’ the report said.
Meanwhile, legal experts have suggested that given Berlusconi’s record of beating the legal clock and winning appeals, the 76-year-old politician and media tycoon is unlikely to spend time behind bars.
Lawyers for Berlusconi have also planned to appeal against his jail sentence for tax fraud. (ANI)