Rome

Berlusconi fraud conviction 'incomprehensible', says Alfano

Party secretary confident ex-premier will be cleared

Berlusconi fraud conviction 'incomprehensible', says Alfano

(see related story) Rome, October 26 - Centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party Secretary Angelino Alfano described the fraud conviction handed down to ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi by a Milan court on Friday as ''unexpected'' and ''incomprehensible''. Berlusconi was found guilty of tax fraud in the trading of film rights for TV broadcasts by his Mediaset media empire, sentenced to four years in prison and banned from public office for three years. ''It is the umpteenth demonstration that there is a campaign of judicial attacks on Silvio Berlusconi,'' said Alfano, a former justice minister. ''We are certain that the next levels of justice will show we are right (about Berlusconi being innocent) and we hope that these judgements will arrive quickly,'' he continued. Berlusconi, who said earlier this week he would not run for premier in elections next spring, has long insisted he is the victim of persecution by allegedly left-leaning judges.

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