Prosecutors want ailing Berlusconi checked

March 11, 2013 at 9:20 AM

MILAN, Italy, March 11 (UPI) -- Prosecutors asked a court to check on hospitalized former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi after he didn't attend a hearing in a sex-related trial.

The prosecutors asked for the check after Berlusconi's trial on charges he had sex with an underage prostitute was adjourned until Monday because he was hospitalized Friday in Milan with an eye infection, ANSA reported.

Berlusconi's defense team presented three medical certificates in a "legitimate impediment" petition asking that he be allowed to miss Monday's hearing, ANSA said.

One of the certificates said Berlusconi risked heart complications if he went to court, the report said.

Berlusconi's lawyers -- lawmakers who are members of his People of Freedom Party -- also presented "legitimate impediment" petitions for themselves, saying they must participate in a meeting with Agnelino Alfano, party secretary.

Berlusconi is accused of paying to have sex with Moroccan runaway Karima El Mahroug while she was still underage at a sex party at his home. He also is charged with abusing his position to gain her release from police custody when she was held on an unrelated crime.

Both have denied any wrongdoing.

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