Karl-Heinz Grasser was found guilty of abuse of power and involvement in bribery.
A Vienna district court has sentenced former Austrian Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser to eight years in prison following a major corruption trial. This is reported by Spiegel on Friday, December 4.
Grasser was found guilty of abuse of power and involvement in bribery. The verdict was based on statements from hundreds of witnesses and telephone wiretaps. The court got a recording of a conversation in which one of the defendants asked how he could plausibly explain to the Prosecutor the appearance of hundreds of thousands of euros in his account.
In total, 14 suspects were charged in this case. One of them admitted that he passed on internal information that allowed the consortium to buy 60 thousand state apartments for 961 million euros. Three years later, the consortium estimated the apartments at about twice the price.
The decision to sell the apartments, according to the prosecution, was made by Grasser, and his accomplices received bribes for 9.6 million euros. The former Finance Minister’s lawyer said he was going to appeal.