- The Washington Times - Friday, August 2, 2013

Silvio Berlusconi, former prime minister of Italy, raged against the nation’s court system on Thursday, after supreme court judges ruled he was guilty of tax fraud and sentenced him to four years in jail.

He called the judiciary “uncontrollable and uncontrolled,” and said the judges persecuted him with “a fury that has no equal anywhere in the civilized world,” The U.K. Guardian reported. He made the statements on a video message just hours after he was convicted.

The judges met behind closed doors for seven hours before they issued the ruling.

They decided that since Mr. Berlusconi is about to turn 77, he could serve his time on house arrest, or via community service.

Still, Mr. Berlusconi was dissatisfied.

“In return for all this, in return for the commitment that I have lavished on my country in the course of almost 20 years, now almost at the end of my working life, I receive as a reward accusations and a sentence founded on absolutely nothing which deprives me of my personal freedom and my political rights,” he said, The Guardian reported.

Mr. Berlusconi had been appealing his conviction for fraudulently buying Mediaset’s broadcasting rights.