An Italian court on Friday sentenced former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to four years in jail for tax fraud in connection with the purchase of broadcasting rights by his Mediaset television company.
Berlusconi has the right to appeal the ruling two more times before a definite sentence, and will not have to serve any time in jail until his final appeal is heard. Prosecutors had asked for a jail sentence of three years and eight months.
The ruling comes two days after Berlusconi, 76, confirmed he would not run in next year's elections as the leader of his People of Freedom (PDL) center-right party.
Mediaset shares fell nearly 3 percent after the ruling.