Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Friday he will not run again when his term as Prime Minister expires in 2013.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Italian daily La Repubblica, published Friday, Berlusconi — fighting financial corruption charges and is on trial on charges of abuse of power and prostitution with an underage teenager — reportedly said: "If I could, I would leave now.”
The financial corruption case is related to alleged fraud in the sale of movie and television rights by Mediaset, Berlusconi's broadcasting company, CNN reports.
Then there are the "headline-grabbing allegations that he paid for sex repeatedly with an underage prostitute," and later used his position to get her out of jail.
The 74-year-old billionaire media mogul said he would like to play the role of "noble father" to his chosen successor, Justice Minister Angelino Alfano, 40.
According to France 24, Alfano — a native of Sicily — is "best known as the author of two laws designed to shield the prime minister from the courts, both of which were overturned by the Constitutional Court."
"At 77, I couldn’t continue serving as prime minister," Berlusconi reportedly said.