This article is from the archive of our partner .

Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister of Italy who was convicted on tax fraud charges, has been ordered to complete one year of community service as his sentence. His assignment, given to him by a court in Milan, is to work at a center for the elderly in the town of Lombardy, where his main home is.

The decision means he will avoid both jail and house arrest,  but cannot leave Lombardy from Thursday evening to Monday. He also owns a house in Rome, that he will be allowed to visit during the week.

Last August, Berlusconi was convicted of tax fraud, the only one of several criminal cases to be upheld by higher courts. The conviction came with a four-year term in jail, that was reduced to one (as part of a law meant to reduce prison overcrowding) and that has now been scaled down to a mere four hours per week of community service. He also been banned from running for public office, but he is still the head of his political party, Forza Italia, and still has most of his vast fortune, making him an unavoidable force in Italian politics.

It's not yet know what duties Berlusconi will be asked to perform on behalf of his elderly charges, but at 77 years old, there's a good chance the "Bunga Bunga" king will be older than many of the old people he will be helping.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to