Whoa. Did not see this coming, and I live in Italy: Ex-Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi sentenced to 4 years in prison
This news is just coming out, and really, it's a bit confusing because he's being tried on so many fronts right now. He's still in the middle of a prostitution ring case featuring the then-underaged "Ruby Rubacuori" (Ruby Heartstealer).
Berlusconi just declared the other day that he would not be running for PM again. He must have seen the writing on the wall.
Keep in mind that there will be an appeals case and for Italian law, that means essentially a second trial (in which new evidence can be entered, for example).
I'm looking at Italian newspapers now and will report back with more soon.
Here's a brief summary of this trial from Corriere della Sera
The trial, which began in 2006, had as its object the sale of tv and movie rights from an American company for 470 million euros. The purchases were managed by Fininvest—a company that belongs to the ex-premier’s family—via two offshore corporations, which then sold [the rights] with a sharp hike in the price to Mediaset with the purpose of avoiding Italian taxes and of creating hidden funds available to Berlusconi. [My translation]The AP has a good summary of the story up, published by WaPo here
Il processo, iniziato nel 2006, aveva per oggetto la compravendita dei diritti televisivi e cinematografici con società Usa per 470 milioni di euro. Acquisti perfezionati da Fininvest - società di proprietà della famiglia dell'ex-premier - attraverso due società off-shore. Per la procura, le major americane avrebbero venduto i diritti alle due società off-shore, le quali a loro volta li avrebbero poi rivenduti con una forte maggiorazione di prezzo a Mediaset allo scopo di aggirare il fisco italiano e creare fondi neri a disposizione di Berlusconi.