The Milan court ruled Berlusconi must spend at least four hours a
week in a center for the elderly for one year.
He will not be allowed to travel outside Lombardy, the region around
Milan where he has his principal residence, except for restricted
trips to Rome.
Following the definitive tax fraud conviction last year, Berlusconi
was stripped of his seat in the Italian Senate and barred from
holding public office for two years.
But the 77-year-old remains the most influential politician on
Italy's center-right as leader of the Forza Italia party.
A statement from the court did not say whether Berlusconi would be
allowed to campaign for the election while in Lombardy and Rome and
what role he could play in public life, if any, over the coming
It said the trips to Rome could take place weekly, from Tuesday to
Thursday, with Berlusconi ordered to be back in Lombardy by 11 p.m
His lawyers said in a statement that the ruling "appears balanced
and satisfactory even with regards to the needs of political
They, like Milan prosecutors, had argued in favor of his doing
community service rather than being sent to prison or put under
A legal source said the media tycoon would do his community service
at the Sacred Family Foundation in Cesano Boscone, a small town near
Milan. Its website says the center cares for the elderly and people
[to top of second column]
The four-time prime minister has dominated Italian politics since
the mid-1990s but was expelled from the Senate last November after
being convicted of masterminding a complex system of tax fraud at
his Mediaset television network.
His four-year jail sentence was commuted to one year under a law
aimed at reducing prison overcrowding.
Berlusconi continues to protest his innocence and says he has been
persecuted by leftist magistrates.
The center-right has suffered an internal split and lost support
since Berlusconi almost won last year's national election, but Forza
Italia is still Italy's second or third largest party with about 20
percent of the vote, according to varying opinion polls.
(Additional reporting by Manuela D'Alessandro and Lisa Jucca;
writing by Silvia Aloisi; editing by Giles Elgood)
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