Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga has died. The 82-year-old who had been the Christian Democrat leader and had also held the office of Prime Minister had been taken ill earlier this week. The sometimes controversial politician was admitted to hospital in Rome on Monday.
He was suffering from severe respiratory problems and his condition worsened in the last 24 hours. Born in Sardinia he was first elected to Parliament in 1958.
In 1985 he was sworn in as the Italian Republic’s eighth head of state, a post he held for seven years.
He had been the interior minister, the youngest in his country’s history, but resigned when his party chairman Aldo Moro was kidnapped and subsequently murdered.