Tags: Berlusconi | attack | Italy | rise

Conspiracy Theories Rise Over Berlusconi Attack

Thursday, 21 January 2010 09:54 PM

It has been a remarkably swift recovery. Forty days after he was seen on television with blood streaming down his face after being struck by a souvenir model of Milan cathedral, Silvio Berlusconi was out and about yesterday for a meeting with Gianfranco Fini, his main political partner — and rival — with hardly a scratch on him.

So is it too remarkable?

On the internet and at dinner parties from Rome to Milan, conspiracy theories abound. With the Prime Minister facing corruption trials, sex scandals and regional elections in March — and with Mr Fini said to be manoeuvring to replace him as leader of the Centre Right — was Mr Berlusconi’s attack faked in a bid for sympathy? Or were his injuries exaggerated?

Mr Berlusconi’s supporters called such allegations “grotesque”. Even opposition leaders dismissed them in a show of solidarity, pointing out that Mr Berlusconi was popular and did not need to fake an assault.

Doctors at the Milan hospital where Mr Berlusconi was taken testified to his injuries, including a fractured nose, gashes to his lip and cheek and two broken teeth.

Massimo Tartaglia, 42, was arrested and later apologised for the attack. This week he was transferred from prison to a psychiatric hospital.

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Thursday, 21 January 2010 09:54 PM
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