Former Austrian minister convicted of corruption

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Associated Press

Posted on January 14, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 14 at 11:33 AM

VIENNA (AP) — A court has found a former Austrian interior minister and EU lawmaker guilty of corruption after he fell for a sting operation by two British journalists and sentenced him to four years in prison.

Ernst Strasser, 56, was charged last year after the two reporters pretending to be lobbyists offered him money to try to water down proposed EU legislation. He subsequently resigned from the EU Parliament.

On Monday, Judge Georg Olschak rejected Strasser's argument that he thought he was being set up by U.S. intelligence agents posing as lobbyists and played along to catch them red handed.

Strasser said he thought he was under surveillance because the U.S. was displeased with the EU Parliament's rejection of proposed anti-terrorist measures but did not tell Austrian officials about his concerns.

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