Italy's Berlusconi leaves hospital after assault

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The Independent Online

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was discharged from hospital on Thursday, four days after an attack which left him with a fractured nose and broken teeth.

Television images showed Berlusconi, with his nose bandaged, waving to reporters from the window of a limousine as he left the Milan hospital where he was taken after Sunday's attack.

The conservative leader was injured after a rally in the northern Italian city. A man with a history of mental illness hurled a miniature replica of Milan cathedral at Berlusconi's face as he was shaking hands and signing autographs.

A judge remanded 42-year-old Massimo Tartaglia in prison on Wednesday.

Berlusconi's spokesman, Paolo Bonaiuti, said he had slept well after several days of discomfort. Doctors have said the 73-year-old media mogul has had trouble eating and should limit his work schedule for two weeks.

The assault has plunged Italy into soul-searching, with politicians denouncing a climate of hatred and warning about the risk of a return to the kind of violence which scarred the country in the 1970s.