Defiant Berlusconi vows to stay in politics after tax fraud verdict
ROME (AFP) - A defiantly unabashed Silvio Berlusconi vowed on Saturday to stay in politics to reform the very justice system that sentenced him to jail for tax fraud, as the Italian press declared an emphatic end to the billionaire former premier's long domination of the nation's political scene.
"I feel obliged to stay in the (political) field to reform the planet justice," the media tycoon told TG5, one of the television stations he runs, after branding Friday's verdict an "intolerable" political ruling.
"There are going to be consequences," declared 67-year-old three-time prime minister who first burst on to the Italian political scene almost two decades ago.
A Milan court on Friday sentenced Berlusconi to four years in jail - quickly reduced to one year under an amnesty law designed to tackle overcrowding in prisons - and banned him from holding public office for five years.