Silvio Berlusconi, 84, is now ‘seriously ill and being looked after at home’ eight months after he was hospitalised by Covid as his lawyer admits ‘we are worried’
- Silvio Berlusconi was hospitalised with coronavirus in September last year
- Since then he has been in and out of hospital several times but says he is well
- A Milan prosecutor has called for Berlusconi’s trial to be temporarily suspended
- His own lawyer has said the mogul and former PM is being looked after at home
- Berlusconi has survived a number of health scares and political scandals
- He remains and MP and is the leader of the opposition Forza Italia party
Silvio Berlusconi is seriously ill and being looked after at home eight months after being hospitalised with coronavirus.
A Milan prosecutor has called for the former Italian prime minister’s trial on charges of bribing witnesses to be temporarily suspended due to his health.
Belusconi, 84, has been in and out of hospital since contracting Covid-19 in September, and speculation has mounted in recent days over a deterioration of his health.
‘We definitely believe Berlusconi is seriously ill and is suffering from a serious disease. This is what medical certificates and consultancies show,’ prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano said.
Silvio Berlusconi is seriously ill and being looked after at home eight months after being hospitalised with coronavirus. A Milan prosecutor has called for the former Italian prime minister’s trial on charges of bribing witnesses to be temporarily suspended due to his health [File photo]
Speaking during a hearing for a case connected to one in which Berlusconi was acquitted of having sex with an underage girl nicknamed ‘Ruby’, Siciliano said Berlusconi should be temporally exempted from standing trial.
The judge will decide on whether to separate Berlusconi’s position from the other defendants on May 26, when there will be a new hearing.
Berlusconi’s own lawyer, Federico Cecconi told reporters that the media tycoon was ‘being looked after at home’.
‘Of course we are worried,’ he said.
The four-time prime minister is accused of bribing witnesses to stay silent over the underage prostitution case, starting in 2013. He has always denied any wrongdoing.
Berlusconi spent the night in hospital in February after an accidental fall at home.
The controversial billionaire tripped while staying at his residence in Rome, where he had travelled to give his backing to Mario Draghi as the country’s next premier.
Berlusconi was bruised on one side and was taken to his home city of Milan for a hospital check-up, a spokesman said.
The politician, who has dominated public life in Italy since the 1980s and is still an MEP, was also hospitalised in Monaco in January due to heart problems.
Berlusconi, whose third spell as prime minister ended in 2011, had major heart surgery in 2016 and has also survived prostate cancer.
He described his battle with coronavirus last September as the ‘most dangerous challenge’ of his life.
Berlusconi, whose third spell as prime minister ended in 2011, had major heart surgery in 2016 and has also survived prostate cancer. He described his battle with coronavirus last September as the ‘most dangerous challenge’ of his life. Pictured: Berlusconi leaves hospital on September 14, 2020 after being admitted earlier that month with coronavirus [File photo]
While in hospital in Milan, he told supporters in a phone call that doctors had said his viral load was the worst out of thousands of patients tested at the clinic.
Describing his ‘hellish’ case of the virus, he said it was ‘very bad’ but added that ‘I’m giving it my all, I hope to make it and to get back on track’.
True to his word, he was discharged later that month and has continued to play an active role as leader of the opposition Forza Italia party.
Since then, Berlusconi has spent much of his time recuperating from coronavirus at his daughter Marina’s house in Provence, France.
Last month, his doctor Alberto Zangrillo had him transferred to a hospital in Monaco because of heart problems.
But he insisted: ‘I am in good health. Due to the prudence of my doctors I had to go to hospital for some checks.’
Berlusconi looked frail in Rome in February as he reappeared in public after months holed up in his daughter’s villa.
Berlusconi was elected to the parliament in 2019, further prolonging his decades-long career in Italian politics.
The former owner of AC Milan, who made his media fortune in the 1960s, he entered politics in early 1994 and served three separate terms as prime minister.
In late 2006 he was admitted to hospital with a minor heart problem after fainting. He underwent successful heart surgery in a US hospital in January 2007.
In December 2004, a young bricklayer hurled a camera tripod at his head, causing a minor injury behind his right ear.
The culprit first said he did it ‘because I hate him’ but later wrote a letter to Berlusconi saying he had acted in a moment of ‘deplorable euphoria.’
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