UK

Silvio Berlusconi Attacks His Tax Fraud Verdict In Defiant Video Message

02/08/2013 09:40 BST | Updated 02/08/2013 10:00 BST

Silvio Berlusconi has railed against his prison sentence for tax fraud, saying it was "founded on absolutely nothing."

Italy's former Prime Minister has had his prison sentence for tax fraud upheld by the country's highest court.

Because of his age, he is unlikely to go to jail, with house arrest or community service more likely.

But the verdict makes it the first definitive conviction in up to 30 court cases, Sky News reported.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said his prison sentence for tax fraud is "based on nothing at all" after it was confirmed by the country's top court.

The upholding of the billionaire tycoon's four-year sentence makes it his first ever definitive conviction in up to 30 court cases.

In a video message, Berlusconi was defiant.

"In exchange for the commitment I have made of almost 20 years in favour of my country, and coming almost to the end of my public life, I receive as a reward accusations and a verdict that is founded on absolutely nothing, that takes away my personal freedom and my political rights.

"That's how Italy recognises the sacrifices and commitments of its best citizens.

"Is this the Italy that we love? Is this the Italy that we want?

"Absolutely not."

Berlusconi also has an appeal pending against a conviction for having paid for sex with an under-age prostitute.