Giulio Andreotti, who served as premier of Italy seven times, died Monday at his home in Rome.
Androetti was one of the most powerful men in Italy during the 20th century. He played a key role in rebuilding the countryafter World War II, drafting Italy’s constitution and sitting in parliament for 60 years. Giulio Androetti remained a senator-for-life until his death on Monday.
He was known for having a strong political acumen and subtle humor that made him a popular politician, and his sharp eyes and stooped figure made him one of the most recognizable Italians.
While his intellectual capacity was widely admired, Giulio Androetti also had many enemies in Italy. He was accused of being too close to the Mafia, and was indicted twice for involvement with organized crime.
In 1993, a Mafia informant told prosecutors that Androetti had orchestrated the 1979 killing of journalist Mino Pecorelli, a frequent critic of Androetti. Pecorelli who was killed with four shots from a silenced pistol.
Androetti has denied the charges, saying he was set up by the Mafia after cracking down on organized crime. He was ultimately acquitted of organizing the killing.
“As far as I know, none of the informers has ever said anything that they knew directly,” Androetti told The New York Times in January 1993. “They always say, ‘I heard about it.’ And the people they cite are all dead.”
Giulio Androetti rose to power just as Italy was rising from the ruins of World War II. After two decades of fascist rule under Benito Mussolini, Androetti joined the Christian Democrats, being elected to parliament in 1948 and remaining there since.
Androetti also had a close but complicate with Communists. The 1976 general election saw large Communist gains, and Androetti often needed these members to abstain from parliamentary votes for measures to pass.
Giulio Androetti died at age 94.