Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was admitted to a Milan hospital with an eye inflammation and his lawyers used the ailment to seek to delay the verdict in his sex-with-minor trial.
Berlusconi, 76, will probably stay overnight in Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital, Alberto Zangrillo, his personal doctor, said today in a briefing to journalists broadcast on SkyTG24. Berlusconi made legal requests to be excused from court appointments today and tomorrow, Piero Longo, an Italian senator and one of the ex-premier’s lawyers, said by telephone.
Berlusconi was sentenced to a year in prison yesterday in a wiretapping case and faces two more verdicts from criminal courts as early as this month. Prosecutors were scheduled to deliver closing arguments today in the Milan trial that has Berlusconi accused of abusing the power of his office and paying for sex with a minor. Tomorrow, he faces closing arguments in his appeal of a tax fraud conviction.
The defense was due to make closing arguments on March 11 in the prostitution trial, with judges expected to rule on March 18.
The court rescheduled the canceled hearing for March 11 because of Berlusconi’s illness, SkyTG24 reported today. Berlusconi’s lawyer Niccolo Ghedini told news agency Radiocor that the former premier may need more time before he can appear in court. Doctors have ordered seven days of rest, Ghedini said. Berlusconi will have another possible conflict staring on March 15 when the new parliament convenes after inconclusive elections last month.
Berlusconi has denied all the charges against him. He is free pending appeal of the verdict yesterday, which stems from the publication of transcripts of wiretapped phone calls relating to the 2006 battle for control of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro SpA.
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