Berlusconi in Milan hospital for eye inflammation preventing attendance at sex-for-hire trial

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

Berlusconi's personal physician, Dr. Alberto Zangrillo, said Berlusconi had bilateral uveitis, an inflammation of the eyes that he described as painful. Zangrillo couldn't rule out he would be kept in the hospital overnight.

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

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