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Berlusconi attacker found unfit for trial

Associated Press / June 30, 2010

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MILAN — The man who hurled a statuette at Premier Silvio Berlusconi, leaving the bloodied Italian leader with a broken nose and two broken teeth, is not fit to stand trial, a judge ruled yesterday.

Judge Luisa Savoia, however, placed Massimo Tartaglia under observation for one year in the psychiatric hospital where he has been held since February.

The ruling technically finds Tartaglia not guilty of the attack based on a psychiatric evaluation that found the defendant was not capable of knowingly or intentionally committing a crime at the time the attack took place, said Gian Marco Rubino, defense lawyer.

“It is clear that the absolution is satisfactory from a trial point of view,’’ Rubino said. “As for the treatment, we are absolutely agreed, and we have always said since the day after the attack, that Massimo Tartaglia is a person who requires treatment.’’

Daniele Capezzone, a spokesman for Berlusconi’s People of Freedom Party, however, called the decision “worrisome,’’ saying Tartaglia “came within a step of murdering Berlusconi.’’

The judge’s decision means that Tartaglia may leave the hospital only with the permission of his doctors.

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