MILAN, Italy, April 15 (Xinhua) - A court in Milan on Tuesday ruled that former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to do one year of social work helping the elderly rather than house arrest to serve a tax-fraud verdict.
The court ordered Berlusconi, 77, to do community service at a facility of the Holy Family Institute Foundation, a non-profit organization in a small town near Milan which provides care for frail elderly people and the disabled.
"Silvio Berlusconi will carry out the socially useful activity of voluntary work with the commitment of once a week and for a period of not less than four consecutive hours," the court said in a statement.
The statement also added that the three-time prime minister will be not allowed to leave Lombardy region, of which the capital is Milan, unless he gets an authorization from the local judiciary.
However, he will be able to go to Rome three days a week, from Tuesday to Thursday, which local reports said will allow the leader of center-right party Forza Italia to continue his political activity.
Last year, Italy's highest court had made definitive a tax fraud conviction for Berlusconi for artificially inflating prices in the purchase of rights to American movies for his broadcaster in order to avoid taxes.
The verdict included a ban from holding public offices, which was set later at two years, as well as a jail term which was reduced from four years to one year by a 2006 pardon.
Being too old to go to jail under standard Italian legal practice, Berlusconi had filed a request to prosecutors to do one year of social work rather than house arrest to serve the verdict, which was his first final guilty conviction in two decades of fighting legal cases and led to him being ejected from parliament.
The media tycoon has repeatedly claimed that the conviction was part of a campaign against him conducted by allegedly "leftist magistrates."