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Berlusconi accepts court deal on weekly help to elderly instead of house arrest


ROME — Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi says that from next week he will start carrying out a court order to help the elderly four hours per week as part of his punishment for a tax fraud conviction.

Berlusconi spoke briefly with reporters Wednesday evening in Milan after accepting rules that let him to do community service instead of a year's house arrest.

The 77-year-old media mogul lost his Senate seat because of the conviction, upheld last summer by Italy's top criminal court.

Berlusconi gave no details of his work with elderly people at a center at the outskirts of Milan. A Milan court previously dealt him an 11 p.m.-to-dawn curfew. He can campaign for his Forza Italia party in upcoming European Parliament elections but cannot run himself.

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