Italy's Berlusconi Enraged by Prison Sentence

World | August 2, 2013, Friday // 17:56|  views

Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has broadcast an angry video message after his prison sentence for tax fraud was upheld by the country's highest court.

Berlusconi said he was the innocent victim of "an incredible series of accusations and trials that had nothing to do with reality", the BBC informs.

In an emotional nine-minute video, Berlusconi denounced the decision as "based on nothing, and which deprives me of my freedom and political rights".

"No-one can understand the onslaught of real violence that has been directed against me following an incredible series of accusations and trials that don't have any foundation in reality," he said.

He described the more that 50 court cases he has faced as "genuine judicial harassment that is unmatched in the civilised world."

The former Italian PM is likely to serve house arrest or carry out community service.
The high court also ordered a lower court to reconsider whether Berlusconi should be banned from public office.

Berlusconi's conviction concerns a tax fraud scheme involving TV rights bought by his company Mediaset at inflated prices.

It is the first definitive conviction for him after decades of criminal proceedings.

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Tags: Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, tax fraud


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