Suicide man asks Berlusconi to protect his family

An Italian engineer who hanged himself asked billionaire tycoon Silvio Berlusconi in a suicide note to look after his family after his death, Italian news agency ANSA reported on Tuesday.

The 44-year-old, whose wife is pregnant and who has a five-year-old daughter, apologised in the note for having been a bad engineer.

The man said he was a person who "thought well" of Berlusconi, a scandal-tainted former prime minister who leads Italy's centre-right.

Widely ridiculed abroad, Berlusconi maintains core support in Italy where he won a third of the national vote in a February general election.

His promise to cut taxes on families and businesses proved popular and he has blamed his many legal woes on biased left-wing judges.

Berlusconi is a defendant in two trials -- one for allegedly having sex with an underage prostitute and the other for tax fraud linked to his business.