Berlusconi attacked, struck in face at rally (Video)
2009-12-14 0:00

From: CP24.com

An attacker hurled a statuette at Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, striking the leader in the face at the end of a rally Sunday and leaving the stunned 73-year-old media mogul with a broken nose and bloodied mouth.


This video image made available by RAI TG3 shows Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi after an attacker hurled a statuette at Berlusconi striking the leader in the face at the end of a rally in Milan, Italy on Sunday Dec. 13, 2009 leaving the 73-year-old media mogul with a bloodied mouth and looking stunned. (AP Photo/RAI TG3 via APTN)


Police said the 42-year-old man accused of attacking Berlusconi as he signed autographs in Milan was immediately taken into custody. The Italian leader was rushed to a hospital where he was being held overnight.

The attack occurred at a time when Berlusconi, one of Italy's wealthiest men, is embroiled in a sex scandal, a divorce case with his wife and public protests demanding his resignation.

TV showed the stunned leader with blood under his nose, on his mouth and under one eye as he was lifted to his feet by aides after Sunday's attack. He was hustled into the back of a car, but he immediately got out, apparently to show he was not badly injured.


Video from: YouTube.com

But Berlusconi suffered a "small fracture" of the nose, two broken teeth and an injury to the inside and outside of his lip, said Paolo Klun, chief spokesman for Milan's San Raffaele Hospital.

"He wanted to go home right away, but he is being held as a precaution" for overnight observation, Klun said. The premier suffered "a significant bruising trauma from this blunt instrument that was hurled at him."

Police first said it appeared the assailant had punched Berlusconi in the face while clutching a souvenir statue of Milan's Duomo, or cathedral with gargoyles that symbolizes the city. But state TV later showed a video, somewhat blurry, of what appeared to be the attacker's hand coming close to Berlusconi's face while holding the statue, then letting go of the object at the last minute as it hit the premier's face.

Berlusconi was "very shaken and demoralized," Klun said. "He didn't understand very well what happened to him."

Immediately after the attack, the premier, after getting out of the car and without saying a word, was pulled back into the vehicle by bodyguards.

The attack occurred after Berlusconi had just finished delivering a long, vigorous speech at the rally to thousands of applauding supporters from his Freedom People party in the square outside the cathedral at about 6:30 p.m.

Officials at Milan's police headquarters said they didn't immediately know what the miniature Duomo statue was made of.

Berlusconi's spokesman, speaking by telephone from the emergency room from San Raffaele hospital where the premier was taken, told Sky TG24 TV that doctors had decided to keep Berlusconi in the hospital overnight for observation. "We'll see what the doctors say tomorrow morning," spokesman Paolo Bonauiti told Sky. The exams of his jaw area included a CT scan, Bonaiuti said.

Police identified the man they were questioning as Massimo Tartaglia, 42. They said Tartaglia didn't have any criminal record but had suffered psychological problems in the past.

Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa told reporters he ran to help police hustle the man away from the scene of the attack "to keep him from a possible lynching from the crowd."

The assailant "was a man who had mixed in with the people who were applauding (Berlusconi), shaking his hand," La Russa said.

The attack occurred at a difficult political time for Berlusconi, who has been plagued by scandals.

On Dec. 5, tens of thousands of Italians fed up with the premier marched peacefully through Rome to demand his resignation.

The demonstrators expressed dismay over what they see as the businessman's conflict of interests, citing repeated government-backed laws they contend were tailored to help shield Berlusconi from prosecution in cases involving his media, real estate and sports empire. Berlusconi claims the laws benefit all citizens.

Other critics cite Berlusconi's sex scandals.

Berlusconi's wife is divorcing him after complaining about his infatuation with young women. A southern Italian businessman has told investigators he procured some 30 attractive young women for parties and dinners at the premier's Rome residence and Sardinian villa. Among the guests was a high-end prostitute who claimed she slept with Berlusconi. The premier has denied ever paying for sex.

Berlusconi has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing and blames his judicial woes on prosecutors he claims sympathize with the opposition left. Several of the cases either ended in acquittal or were dropped when limitation statutes expired. Others are pending.

On Sunday, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano condemned the "grave and unusual gesture of aggression" against Berlusconi. In a statement, the head of state renewed his plea that conflicting political points of view be expressed "within the limits of responsible self-control" and while "preventing and heading off every impulse and spiral of violence."


Article from: CP24.com



Related Articles
Mob witness links Berlusconi to Mafia bombings
Silvio Berlusconi backs Tony Blair to be President of Europe
Berlusconi Advocates Creation of 'Core Europe' if Ireland Says No Again
Harper gift from Berlusconi most valuable in G8
Berlusconi's wife wants a divorce -'make[s] a fool of himself on the world stage'
Berlusconi 'hid ancient graves'
Ex-topless model to host leaders’ partners at Berlusconi’s summit


Latest News from our Front Page

Muhammad Art Exhibit: Two gunmen dead after firing at security guard in Texas shootout
2015-05-04 6:48
A prize of $10,000 was offered by an American group to the 'best' cartoon depicting the religious figure Two gunmen were shot dead after they opened fire at a contest for cartoon images of the Islamic prophet Muhammad last night. A security guard was also wounded when gunfire broke out as the men drove up to the exhibition in Texas at around ...
An Eye For Odin
2015-05-03 2:03
The Anglo-Saxon Sutton Hoo helmet is a religious artefact dedicated to Woden the one eyed god of war. Recent research indicates that numerous other archeaological artefacts also provide evidence that one eye on various figures has been deliberately removed as part of a Woden ritual. Read the original essay by Neil Price and Paul Mortimer here: http://www.academia.edu/7925222/ Music: Faunus Amadeus Loki - Strange ...
Ed Miliband: "As a friend of Israel and a Jew, I'm a proud member of this community" & "The Jewish Manifesto"
2015-05-03 2:29
Editor's comment: With just a few days to go to the British election, here are a few tidbits that the English voter might want to know about concerning the leader of the Labour party, Ed Miliband. Labour Leader Ed Miliband on the Board of Deputies' Jewish Manifesto By Ed Miliband, Leader of the Opposition in the UK. (Or should that be the ...
"Sweden is ruled by unelected policy plotters"
2015-05-03 1:16
Editor's Comment: As usual, the power in Sweden is behind the scenes, unelected and weaved into the bureaucracy so that Swedes have no control or influence over what happens in the country. Sweden has long been seen as the epitome of a healthy democracy. But in this week's debate article, three researchers argue that an increase in unelected behind-the-scenes operators is ...
Israel to airlift 25 babies born to surrogates out of Nepal
2015-05-03 1:46
Ya'ari is one of 26 babies airlifted by the Israeli government and brought to Israel to be with their parents after the Nepal earthquake. (Derek Stoffel/CBC)Israel said Sunday it plans to airlift 25 infants from quake-hit Nepal born to surrogate mothers, along with their Israeli parents, most of them homosexual couples. Officials said Israel was sending a military delegation to offer ...
More News »