Silvio Berlusconi has told the Italian television station TGCom24 that today's tax fraud ruling against him is a "political verdict". In a telephone interview, he said:
This conviction is political, incredible and unbearable, we can't go on like this.
It proves that there is a persistent judiciary attack against me and that there is a political usage of the justice.
There is no doubt that this is a political verdict as are many trials that they have invented against me.
In total there have been more than 60 trials, more than 1,000 magistrates have been involved in the investigations. We suffered 188 searches, there have been 2,666 hearings over the last 18 years.
When you cannot be confident of the neutrality of the judges, this country becomes uncivilised, barbaric and unbearable and stops to be a democracy.
Media reports in Italy suggest lawyers for Silvio Berlusconi are to appeal against his jail sentence for tax fraud.
The former Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to four years in prison for his part in a tax evasion scheme.