Paragraph one reads: “The electronics engineer who
attacked Silvio Berlusconi at a rally in Milan on Sunday believed that
the Prime Minister was ruining Italy.”
Paragraph six reads: “Mr
Tartaglia’s father said that his son was having psychiatric treatment
and on antidepressants at the time of
the attack. Mr Tartaglia sent a letter to Mr Berlusconi
apologising for his ‘superficial, cowardly and thoughtless
Silvio Berlusconi is ruining Italy, Massimo Tartaglia felt before
Massimo Tartaglia has support on Facebook after his
Richard Owen in Rome
The electronics engineer who attacked
Silvio Berlusconi at a rally in Milan on Sunday believed that the Prime Minister
was ruining Italy.
Massimo Tartaglia, 42, who has been kept in isolation
after throwing a marble and metal souvenir into Mr Berlusconi’s face, told
police that he hated the Prime Minister because “that man is ruining Italy. I
don’t agree with anything he says”.
He told police that he had decided to
leave the cathedral square “but I heard people shouting, so I went back again. I
turned into a narrow side street, I turned round and I saw him just a few steps
away from me. He was coming through the barriers. I had a rush of blood to the
head. At that point I just wanted to hit him with all my strength. I wanted to
make my protest too”.
He added: “I did it all by myself. I am no one’s
Doctors said that Mr Berlusconi, 73, would spend a third night
in hospital. He lost nearly a pint of blood when his nose was broken. Two teeth
were also damaged and he suffered cuts. His treatment is expected to last at
least 25 days and he has been told to rest for two weeks. His doctor said that
he would not be left with scars.
Mr Tartaglia’s father said that his son
was having psychiatric treatment and on antidepressants at the time of the
attack. Mr Tartaglia sent a letter to Mr Berlusconi apologising for his
“superficial, cowardly and thoughtless action”.
He was not a member of a
political party but had told friends and customers in a bar that he could not
stand Mr Berlusconi. He bought the model of Milan’s cathedral, which he threw at
Mr Berlusconi, from a souvenir stall. Stallholders in the city said that model
replicas of the Duomo di Milano, like the one used in the attack, were selling
faster than normal.
Mr Tartaglia faces five years in jail or in a
psychiatric ward if convicted of assaulting a public official. Former teachers
described him as good at computers but said that he had begun to suffer an
identity crisis in his final year at school. He enrolled at the Milan
polytechnic but left after a few months and joined his father’s
In 1995 he was interviewed by national newspapers after
inventing Music Pictures, a game in which images change colour in
response to different music.
Daniela Insalaco, Mr Tartaglia’s lawyer,
told reporters outside San Vittore prison in Milan that she was awaiting a
ruling on whether Mr Tartaglia should be sent to a psychiatric
Roberto Maroni, the Italian Interior Minister, told parliament that
police believed the attack was premeditated. When asked about reports that
police had been warned that Mr Tartaglia was behaving strangely before the
attack, he said that members of the public had “simply indicated to the police
that there was a mad person disturbing passers-by”.
He said that Mr
Tartaglia had been in the Piazza Duomo since 11am hours before Mr
Berlusconi arrived. Despite Mr Tartaglia’s assertion that he acted alone a
claim supported by the Prime Minister’s office the newspaper Il
Giornale said that the attack was part of a conspiracy.
are due to question Andrea Di Sorte, the youth co-ordinator for Mr Berlusconi’s
party, after he told an Italian news agency that he thought that someone behind
Mr Tartaglia passed him the souvenir.