Paris mayor was "in mortal risk," doctor says

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com October 11 2002 12:00 AM ET

The openly gay mayor of Paris suffered life-threatening wounds when he was stabbed over the weekend at a public party at Paris's city hall, his doctors said Wednesday. Bertrand Delanoe is recovering well but will remain in intensive care for another 48 hours, surgeon Jean-Paul Chigot said at Paris's Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital. Delanoe is expected to stay hospitalized for another week after that. He is not expected back on the job for several weeks. The mayor's office initially said that Delanoe's injury was "minor," but reports of the severity of his wound trickled out slowly after the attack.

Doctors said Wednesday they had feared for Delanoe's life when he was rushed to the hospital with abdominal wounds early Sunday. "He was, in reality, in mortal risk," surgeon Fabrice Menegaux said. "If we had not operated on him immediately, it's certain that things would have gotten worse."

Delanoe, 52, was stabbed once during an all-night party organized by city hall. Delanoe suffered injuries to his stomach, intestines, and vena cava, a major vein that brings blood from the lower body to the heart.

The suspect in the stabbing, Azedine Berkane, 39, has told investigators that he committed the crime out of dislike of homosexuals and politicians. Berkane's lawyer, Anna Salabi, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that Berkane suffers from "great mental distress" and is in need of immediate psychiatric care. She attributed his antihomosexual remarks to his psychological state.