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Eur: Australian man charged with attempted murder in Italy

06 Nov 2008 12:00 AM

LONDON, Nov 5 AAP - An Australian man has been charged with attempted murder in Italy after allegedly trying to kill his cousin and aunt during an argument over a family will.

Lino Bertacco, 64, from Melbourne, is being held in custody after a court in Italy's north heard claims about how he attacked his relatives while trying to blow up their home.

Bertacco is alleged to have flown to Marostica on 8 October with all the money he possessed, about 7,000 euros ($A13,000).

Police claim he had expected to inherit another aunt's flat after she died and was devastated when it was instead left to his cousin Angelo Sartori.

Prosecutors allege Bertacco wanted revenge and bought a hunting knife, machete and ingredients to make four home-made bombs with the intention of killing his relatives.

He allegedly took the bombs to Angelo Sartori's flat in Marostica and covered the ground floor with petrol last Saturday.

But another one of his cousins, Loretta Sartori, a 60-year-old pensioner, appeared and confronted him.

Police claim Bertacco stabbed her with a machete, leaving her with a perforated lung and lacerations to her throat.

She is still receiving treatment at Bassano del Grappa hospital.

After other relatives tried to stop Bertacco he then attacked his 85-year-old aunt Maria Bergamin, who also had to be hospitalised.

Neighbours called police, who arrested Bertacco and charged him with attempted murder.

Appearing before a court in the town of Bassano del Grappa on Tuesday, a judge confirmed Bertacco's arrest, as is customary in Italy.

Bertacco did not enter a plea but rambled incomprehensibly during the hearing.

He was refused bail and will remain in custody at the Pio X prison in Vicenza until his next court appearance.

No date has been set for his second hearing.

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