Berlusconi faces tests over ‘attack’


Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been told by prosecutors to have a medical exam of his facial injuries—prompting further speculation the assault on him last month was staged to create sympathy for the embattled leader.

Television footage showed Berlusconi covered in blood after Massimo Tartaglia, a man with a history of mental problems, hurled a statuette of Milan cathedral at the prime minister while he was signing autographs at the end of a political rally.

Officials said he suffered two broken teeth, a minor nose fracture and cuts to his upper lip. But websites have been awash with theories the assault had all been a set-up.

Perhaps the most questionable issue is that rather than leave the vicinity, the tormented prime minister shows his bloody face to the cameras and waves to the crowd before being driven to hospital.

Berlusconi’s personal doctor also said he would need at least 90 days to recover, but three weeks later, he was seen in public without visible scars and bruises.

The medical exam, however, is to help prosecutors decide with what offense to charge Tartaglia.