Berlusconi: I still have good muscles and a bit of brains

Silvio Berlusconi announcing his decision not to run in the next general election Credit: EBU

Silvio Berlusconi announced yesterday that he would not run for Prime Minister in the forthcoming general election.

In a televised statement, he said "I still have good muscles and a bit of brains, but what is left for me is to give advice."

He said that resigning from the premiership last year was a painful decision but that the country does not want to participate in a "witch hunt".

Mr Berlusconi is still free to play an active role in politics despite a ban on holding public office since the ban is suspended until after the appeals process.

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Reports: Berlusconi to appeal

Media reports in Italy suggest lawyers for former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi are to appeal against his jail sentence for tax fraud, according to the BBC.