Italian ex-PM Berlusconi in hospital again —Lawyer

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Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been hospitalised, his lawyer said Wednesday, during the latest hearing over the media mogul’ “bunga-bunga” parties.

“Due to health problems, Berlusconi has been hospitalised since Monday morning,” said his attorney, Federico Cecconi, at the hearing in Milan.

The flamboyant 84-year-old and media tycoon, has dominated public in Italy since the 1980 as a businessman and three-time prime minister, has had a string of health problems in recent years.

In January, Berlusconi — had open-heart surgery in 2016 — admitted to a hospital in Monaco for heart problems. Last September, he hospitalised for 11 days with Covid-19.

On Wednesday, a source within Berlusconi’ Forza Italia said had carried previously scheduled tests at the hospital, adding that Berlusconi’s condition not worrying.

Cecconi did not ask for a postponement because of the hospitalisation.

The hearing regards the latest prong of the long-running investigation involving Berlusconi’s infamous “bunga-bunga” parties and the of alleged underage prostitute Karima El-Mahroug, dubbed “Ruby the heart-stealer”.

The probe involves alleged payments to witnesses by Berlusconi to buy their silence over the parties.

Prosecutors say that Berlusconi paid 10 million euros (some $12 million) between 2011 and 2015 to various people. Seven million euros allegedly went to Ruby, a minor when she participated in the parties.

Berlusconi has always maintained that investigations against him have been politically motivated.