Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to four years in jail by a court in Milan for tax fraud.
Berlusconi, seen here appearing at a previous trial, received the sentence at the end of a six-year trial on charges of fiscal irregularities, made against Berlusconi's mass media company Mediaset. The prosecution claimed that, in the 1990s, Mediaset bought rights for TV shows from American companies at artificially inflated prices, and then kept the surplus in slush funds. He has also been fined £8 million pounds and banned from political life.
The media mogul has been surrounded by controversy for many years, as his standing with the general public has nosedived after his many sexual and political scandals - topped off by his alleged pay as you go "Bunga Bunga" sex parties, which made him, and the PDL Party, which he was the head of, a byword for sleaze and a laughing stock. So it will be interesting to see how much this flamboyant figure will be missed on the Italian political stage.
Written and presented by Ann Salter.