updated 3/10/2004 9:58:51 AM ET 2004-03-10T14:58:51

Parmalat founder Calisto Tanzi, who was arrested months ago for his alleged role in the diary giant's near-collapse, was taken to a hospital here Wednesday, his lawyer said.

The lawyer, Fabio Belloni, said Tanzi, 67, was hospitalized after feeling ill in jail Tuesday night. He said he had no immediate information on Tanzi's condition.

Last month, Tanzi had been briefly taken to a hospital after suffering what Belloni said was ischemia, an obstruction of the flow of arterial blood.

Tanzi was arrested on Dec. 27, about a week after Parmalat acknowledged that it didn't have $5 billion it had claimed was in a Bank of America account. Soon after, the company went into bankruptcy protection.

After his arrest in Milan, Tanzi was transferred to a jail in Parma, a northern city near the headquarters of the company he once ran.

Tanzi has a history of heart problems: He suffered a heart attack and underwent bypass surgery years ago. In Milan, he stayed in the prison's medical ward instead of a cell, and at one point was taken to a city hospital after he felt tingling in an arm.

Belloni says prison is not compatible with Tanzi's health, but several attempts to win house arrest for his client have failed.

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