Rome: Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was sentenced to one year in prison over tax fraud charges Friday, said he intends to stay in politics.
A Milan court Friday convicted Berlusconi, 76, of tax fraud and sentenced him to one year in jail in connection with the media magnate`s Mediaset television company.
I feel obliged to stay in the political field and to reform the justice system so that what happened to me doesn`t happen to other citizens, Berlusconi told Italy’s Canale 5, the flagship of his media empire.
On Wednesday, Berlusconi said he would not run for prime minister`s position next year.
The Mediaset case has been one of the most high-profile and controversial trials involving Berlusconi’s business activity.
According to the prosecution, Mediaset was involved in a scheme to acquire the rights to broadcast movies on Berlusconi`s private television networks via shell companies, evading tax payments through false accounting and financial reports.
Berlusconi denounced the judges as biased and politicised.
The court ruled Berlusconi, together with other defendants in the case, will have to pay Italian tax services 10 million euros (about $13 million) and imposed a five-year ban on running for political office on the tycoon.
Both the ban and the jail term will come into force if the sentence is upheld by a higher court.
Berlusconi’s lawyers have said they would lodge an appeal by Nov 10.