Apr 17, 11:58 AM EDT

Berlusconi: glad to help elderly as punishment

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ROME (AP) -- Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi says he's glad a Milan court ordered him to help the elderly as part of his punishment for a tax fraud conviction.

The 77-year-old media mogul spoke to reporters Thursday about a court order earlier in the week that he must spend four hours assisting at a center for the elderly in northern Italy. His four-year sentence for the conviction had earlier been reduced to one year under an amnesty to reduce prison overcrowding. Because of his age, the court had the option of giving him a year's house arrest or ordering community service.

Berlusconi said the decision "actually pleased me because in my life I have always" tried to be supportive.

He added: "I'll more than gladly try to be useful" at the center.

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