May 10, 2014 - 15:13 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has completed his first day of a year's community service at a Catholic care home near Milan, according to BBC News.
He was sentenced to four years in prison for tax fraud last year, commuted to four hours' work a week with elderly dementia patients.
The care home said the 77-year-old would be treated like any other worker.
As he arrived, Berlusconi was heckled by a trade unionist in a clown hat who shouted: "To prison!" "We Italian workers have one dream in our hearts: Berlusconi in San Vittore!" he yelled, referring to a prison in Milan. He was eventually taken away by police.
The billionaire has been embroiled in a string of court cases. He was convicted last year of buying TV rights at inflated prices via offshore companies to avoid paying taxes in Italy. But he was spared prison because of his age.
Berlusconi chose community service rather than house arrest to serve out his commuted sentence. This will enable him to continue to lead Forza Italia in the European elections, although he was forced to resign his seat in the upper house of parliament, BBC News reported.