Berlusconi in new storm as relations sour with Italian president
ROME (REUTERS) - Mr Silvio Berlusconi was at the centre of a new storm on Monday after a private phone call in which he made assertions about President Giorgio Napolitano was aired on television, prompting a furious reaction from the president.
A current affairs programme on private channel La 7 broadcast a phone tap in which Mr Berlusconi said he had been informed that Mr Napolitano had exerted influence on Italy's top appeals court in a case involving Mr Berlusconi's media empire.
Mr Berlusconi said he had heard that Mr Napolitano called the court to find out the verdict before it had been announced and then told the court to re-convene, finally resulting in a more negative verdict for Mr Berlusconi.
The 88-year-old president issued a fiercely worded statement saying that what Mr Berlusconi said he had been told was "simply another delirious, vulgar and slanderous invention regarding regarding the head of state".