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Scandal breaks out in Austria / Former Finance Minister jailed, received 9 million euros from…

Scandal breaks out in Austria / Former Finance Minister jailed, received 9

Former Austrian Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser has been sentenced to eight years in prison for his role in a high-level corruption scandal.

Grasser was found guilty of embezzlement, bribery and falsification of evidence in a deal to sell thousands of publicly owned apartments. The court in Vienna said the former minister was involved in illegal payments amounting to over € 9 million. He himself denies any wrongdoing and says he will appeal the decision. Grasser became the youngest finance minister in the country's history in 2000. The controversial case involves a total of 14 defendants, who face a range of charges, including money laundering, fraud and counterfeiting. evidence.

The court said Grasser and a broker passed information about an offer during a scheme to privatize 60,000 apartments. The information in question gave a rival bidder the opportunity to submit a slightly higher winning bid. A consortium bought the apartments for € 961 million - and three years later, they were valued at double that amount. According to the judge, a percentage of the purchase price, or € 9.6 million, went to the former General Secretary of the Austrian Freedom Party of Austria, Walter Meischberger, and lobbyist Peter Hochegger.

Both of them have also received prison sentences. The money, always according to the court, was divided into three bank accounts.