Silvio Berlusconi in intensive care in Milan hospital

Italy’s former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been admitted to intensive care with heart problems and shortness of breath, according to media reports.

He is in a stable condition at a hospital in San Raffaele, Milan where is being treated for pulmonary and cardiovascular problems, Corriere Della Sera reported.

The 86-year-old media tycoon attended the same hospital last week for treatment, according to news agency Ansa.

Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party is a key component of prime minister Giorgia Meloni’s conservative coalition, but the former PM himself does not have a government role. He sits in the upper house of the Italian parliament, the Senate,

The three-time premier has had a series of health problems in recent years, most recently recovering from Covid in 2020.

Berlusconi has had a pacemaker for years, underwent heart surgery to replace an aortic valve in 2016 and has overcome prostate cancer.

There was no immediate response from Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party to requests for confirmation, AP reported.

In February, a court acquitted Berlusconi over allegations of bribing witnesses in an underage prostitution scandal that has dogged him for more than a decade.

He was accused of paying 24 people, mostly young guests at his so-called “bunga bunga” parties, to provide false testimony in a previous trial where he was charged with paying for sex with a 17-year-old Moroccan nightclub dancer Karima El Mahroug, better known by her stage name ‘Ruby the Heartstealer’.

The scandal contributed to Berlusconi’s downfall as prime minister in 2011, marking the end of his fourth government. He was eventually acquitted in the initial case, with an appeals court ruling that while he had paid a teenager for sex, there was no proof he knew she was a minor.

Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report

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