MILAN -- Ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi has condemned as "unreal" his tax fraud conviction and said it was the result of "politicized" judges who have made Italy unlivable and no longer a democracy.
Berlusconi spoke to his Mediaset television station Friday after a Milan court convicted him of tax fraud concerning the purchase of rights to broadcast U.S. movies on his private TV networks. He was sentenced to four years in prison though he remains free until all appeals are exhausted.
Berlusconi has long denounced what he considers left-leaning magistrates pursuing political cases against him. He said Friday that "if you can't count on impartial judges in a country, the country becomes uncivil, barbarian and unlivable and stops being a democracy. It's sad, but the situation of our country today is that way."