Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Silvio Berlusconi undergoes operation following Milan attack

07 Mar 2011

The operation, which involved the Italian prime minister being put under a general anaesthetic, involved bone transplant surgery to his jaw and teeth.

It was necessary because he had been having trouble chewing and moving his jaw, surgeons said.

The attack had \"gravely impaired\" the functioning of his jaw, according to a statement released by his personal doctor, Alberto Zangrillo.

He said the operation at Milan\'s San Raffaele Hospital had been successful and the prime minister might be able to return to work in Rome as early as Thursday.

The billionaire businessman, 74, suffered a broken nose, two smashed teeth and gashed lips when a man with a history of mental illness threw a souvenir of Milan\'s cathedral at his face in Dec 2009.

The assailant, Massimo Tartaglia, 42, was wrestled to the ground by the prime minister\'s security guards.

He was acquitted last June of aggravated assault because a court found that he was not of sound mind, but he was ordered to spend a year undergoing treatment in a psychiatric facility.

Mr Berlusconi spent nearly a month recuperating from the attack and publicly forgave Tartaglia, an electronics engineer whose assault appeared not to have a political motive.

The cuts to the premier\'s face were barely visible when he returned to work in January last year, although it was unclear whether that was due to the skill of his doctors or the amount of foundation make-up he wears during public appearances.

The famously looks-conscious prime minister has had a partial facelift and a hair transplant. He revealed a decade ago that he had overcome prostate cancer, and in 2006 he underwent surgery in the US to have a pacemaker fitted.

Mr Berlusconi made a surprise announcement at the weekend that he will appear in court when a sex scandal trial gets underway next month.

He faces allegations of abuse of office and sleeping with an underage prostitute in the trial, which is due to start in Milan on April 6.

His lawyers said he would turn up as long as there was no more than one hearing a week and they were set for Mondays.

\"The prime minister considers it opportune to show up in person to defend himself,\" said Niccolo Ghedini, one of his lawyers.

Under Italian law, defendants are not obliged to appear in court during their trials.

Mr Berlusconi, who denies all the charges, runs the risk of turning the hearings into a potentially embarrassing media circus.

But if he refused to turn up he could be accused of showing contempt for the court, having repeatedly accused magistrates and judges of being \"Communists\" determined to drive him out of office.

He is also involved in three other criminal trials, all of them recently resumed and involving allegations of tax fraud, embezzlement and bribery relating to companies in his business empire.

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

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