Attacker sorry for Berlusconi assault

Attacker sorry for Berlusconi assault

A girl holds a statuette of Milan’s Duomo gothic cathedral, similar to the one which hit Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. REuters

Berlusconi, who, allies say, was left badly shaken and upset by the Sunday attack at a Milan rally, will be discharged from hospital on Wednesday, but must rest for at least two weeks, his doctor said on Tuesday.

Analysts say the sympathy factor from the vivid images of Berlusconi with blood splattered over his face is likely to boost the premier’s political fortunes, just as his popularity had begun to slide over mounting legal woes and sex scandals.

Lawyers for Massimo Tartaglia said the attacker acted alone and without any political or militant interests, as Italians continued their soul-searching over whether the assault was the fruit of a “climate of hatred” around the premier. In a letter sent to Berlusconi from his jail cell, Tartaglia expressed “heartfelt regret for a superficial, cowardly and rash act in which he did not recognise himself,” his lawyers said.
Tartaglia, who has a history of mental illness, had been waiting at the rally square since morning in preparation for the evening attack and also carried pepper spray and a crucifix made of resin, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni told parliament. Maroni said the security forces could not be blamed for failing to prevent the attack.

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