Former Austrian minister convicted of corruption

Associated Press
FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2012 file photo former Austrian Interior Minister and former member of the EU parliament Ernst Strasser waits for the start of his trial at the main court in Vienna, Austria. Strasser was found guilty of corruption on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, rejecting his arguments that he thought he was being set up by U.S. intelligence agents posing as lobbyists and played along to catch them red-handed. He was sentenced to a four-year prison term after the verdict was pronounced, marking the end of a trial closely followed by the Austrian public as a test of accountability to the law by former senior officials. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)
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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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