Giulio Andreotti, Italy's former seven-time premier who was accused of being close to the Mafia, was  is in serious but stable condition in intensive care after suffering heart problems on Thursday, Rome hospital officials told the Associated Press.

The Policlinico Gemelli hospital told the news organization that the 93-year old's heart problems came after having a respiratory infection.

Andreotti helped draft Italy's constitution following World War II. He held almost every ministerial post and was a six-time Foreign Minister. He served as Italy's prime minister in seven of the country's short-lived governments, between 1972 and 1992. However, the presidency always eluded him. He is now a senator for life, one of a handful of politicians, business leaders, scientists and artists appointed to the prestigious post by Italy's president as a recognition of their servicesto the country.

In 2003, Italy's highest court overturned a murder conviction against Andreotti and ruled that he wasn't guilty of ordering the killing of  journalist Mino Pecorelli. Andreotti was facing 24 years in prison.

The prosecution had argued at the trial that Andreotti wanted Pecorelli killed because he was putting together an exposé that would have implicated Andreotti in shady deals. Pecorelli was shot to death in Rome in 1979.

In 1993, Andreotti was linked to the Mafia when an informer testified that the politician exchanged an embrace and kiss with Salvatore Toto Riina, who was later arrested, convicted of being the head of the Sicilian Mob, and sentenced to life in prison.

Andreotti dismissed the claim, calling it a very serious slander.