Silvio Berlusconi vows to remain active in politics as opponents vote down last-ditch attempt to save his senate seat

The three-time prime minister claimed 'I have committed no crime. I am innocent. I am completely innocent' in a video rant

Milan

Disgraced ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi this evening vowed to remain active in politics just hours before opponents in the senate cleared another key hurdle in their quest to have him expelled from parliament.

Under anti-corruption law, the three-time prime minister lost his right to hold a seat when last month the Supreme Court upheld his conviction for tax fraud.

Andrea Augello, a Berlusconi supporter on the Senate committee, had proposed a last-ditch measure to confirm the tycoon's seat in the upper chamber. But at 10pm tonight Mr Berlusconi's centre-left opponents voted down the recommendation.

As a result, the membership committee will meet again and almost certainly call for his expulsion. If this happens, their recommendation will be put to the whole upper chamber, where the former-prime Minster's opponents are also in the majority, in mid-October.

Berlusconi supporters have in the past weeks threatened to bring down the fragile left-right coalition government if his opponents failed to halt their campaign to expel him. These threats have died down now, with Berlusconi's conservative Pdl (People of Freedom) party perhaps fearing it might suffer the backlash for the resulting political instability.

And with an additional ban on holding public office due to kick in soon as a part of his tax-fraud sentence, the 76-year-old mogul appears to have accepted that his days in parliament are probably numbered.

As is often the case when he feels under siege, Mr Berlusconi this evening broadcast a long, presidential-style video. “I will always be with you, at your side, expelled from parliament or not. It is not the parliamentary seat that makes a leader,” the tycoon said.

A TV viewer who'd spent the previous twenty years on Mars, might have concluded from the video rant, that he or she was watching the head of state, rather than a convicted criminal who was weeks away from a year of house arrest or community service meted out to him for tax fraud.

Most Italian viewers, however, would have been used to attacks on the left and the supposedly politically-motivated judges who convicted him contained in the 16-minute broadcast.

For those who didn't get the point, at one stage the billionaire articulated, with increasing volume: “I have committed no crime. I am innocent. I am completely innocent.”

Mr Berlusconi was further enraged by the supreme court's decision yesterday to confirm the huge, €500 million payment that his Fininvest holding company must make to a rival group to compensate it for the corrupt means it employed to win a key take-over battle: one of Berlusconi's lawyers bribed a judge.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Savvy Media Ltd: Media Sales executive - Crawley

£25k + commission + benefits: Savvy Media Ltd: Find a job you love and never h...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible