Tags: Berlusconi | attack | nose | instruder

Police Foil Another Possible Berlusconi Attack

Wednesday, 16 December 2009 10:40 AM

ROME — Three days after an attacker left him with a fractured nose and broken teeth, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was at the center of another bizarre episode Wednesday when police arrested a man who entered the hospital where he is being treated at around 2 a.m., ostensibly to talk to him.

Mr. Berlusconi, 73, was admitted to the San Raffaele hospital in Milan on Sunday after being struck in the face by a man wielding a statuette depicting the Milan cathedral. Massimo Tartaglia, a 42-year-old man with a history of psychological problems, was held after the attack.

Early Wednesday, the police said, a 26-year-old man took the elevator to the hospital’s seventh floor where the Italian leader is recuperating.

News reports described the man as apparently mentally unstable. He was not reported to be carrying weapons or dangerous objects and had merely shown an interest in talking to Mr. Berlusconi.

The incident offered a new twist in a saga that has riveted Italy, reflecting what conservative politicians and news outlets called part of a “climate of hatred” that had polarized the nation into pro- and anti-Berlusconi camps.

Over the past year, political passions have coursed through the nation with unusual intensity as the billionaire prime minister faced several corruption trials and his personal life came under scrutiny. His wife, Veronica Lario, announced that she was divorcing him and accused him of conducting relationships with young women.

The emotions have spilled over onto the streets and into cyberspace with groups on Facebook supporting the attack on Mr. Berlusconi.

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Wednesday, 16 December 2009 10:40 AM
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