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Berlusconi lawyers seek delay in sex-for-hire case, former premier remains hospitalized

Prosecutors in Silvio Berlusconi's sensational sex-for-hire trial have requested court-appointed doctors certify that the former premier's medical condition is severe enough to postpone a hearing.

Berlusconi's lawyers on Monday presented three medical certificates supporting a delay request. Berlusconi has been hospitalized since Friday with an eye inflammation. His lawyers said he also was suffering heart problems.

Judges in Berlusconi's tax fraud appeal continued with Saturday's hearing after court-appointed doctors said his ailments were not severe enough to keep him from court.

The judicial jockeying comes at a politically sensitive time for Italy, as it seeks to form a stable government following February's inconclusive national elections. Talks on forming a new government are to begin March 20. Berlusconi's center-right coalition finished second.

Verdicts in both cases are expected soon.