WORLD / EUROPE
Italy’s ex-PM Berlusconi hospitalized
Published: Apr 07, 2021 06:43 PM
Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been hospitalized for the second time in two weeks, a source within his Forza Italia party said on Wednesday. 

The flamboyant 84-year-old billionaire and media tycoon has been at Milan's San Raffaele hospital since Tuesday afternoon, the source said.

Berlusconi arrived for a check-up, and doctors decided to keep him in to conduct more tests, the source added.

The hospitalization was also announced by one of Berlusconi's lawyers during a hearing in Milan linked to his long-running "bunga bunga" sex scandal. 

The hearing is part of the latest prong of the investigation into Berlusconi's relationship with an underage girl, Karima El-Mahroug, dubbed "Ruby the heart-stealer."

The probe involves alleged payments to witnesses by Berlusconi to buy their silence over his so-called bunga bunga parties involving El-Mahroug and other women.

Berlusconi, who has dominated public life in Italy since the 1980s, has had a string of health problems in recent years. He already spent a couple of days at San Raffaele in late March. His entourage said at the time it was to conduct previously scheduled tests. 

In January, Berlusconi - who had open heart surgery in 2016 - was admitted to a hospital in Monaco for heart problems. 

In September 2020, he was hospitalized for 11 days with COVID-19. 

Traders had previously cited speculation about potential ownership changes at Mediaset, the broadcaster controlled by the Berlusconi family, if Berlusconi's condition worsened.
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