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Silvio Berlusconi trial halted because of eye problem


Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi is being treated in a Milan hospital for an eye inflammation that prevented him from attending his sex-for-hire trial.

Berlusconi's personal physician, Alberto Zangrillo, said he had bilateral uveitis, an inflammation of the eyes that he described as painful.

Dr Zangrillo could not rule out the possibility that Berlusconi would be kept in hospital overnight.

Berlusconi's legal team cited the medical condition as a legitimate impediment to a hearing in the sensational trial charging him with having paid for sex with a Moroccan teenager and using his influence to cover it up. The hearing was suspended while the court considered the defence petition.

Defendants in Italy are not required to appear in court, but can petition to delay a hearing for legitimate reasons preventing their attendance.