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Slovenian Euro-MP sentenced over bribery sting

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(LJUBLJANA) - A Slovenian court sentenced a former European lawmaker to jail on Tuesday after he admitted agreeing to take a bribe to change EU legislation in a British newspaper sting.

Zoran Thaler, also a former foreign minister, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and given a 32,250-euro fine as well as being banned from public office for five years.

However, Ljubljana district court judge Irena Skulj Gradisar ruled that he would spend only weekends in prison.

Thaler resigned in March 2011 after he and several other MEPs from other nations were caught in a sting by Britain's Sunday Times newspaper.

He was recorded by undercover reporters saying he was ready to lobby in their favour in exchange for bribes in a sting aimed at exposing corruption in Brussels.

Thaler, Slovenia's foreign minister from 1995-97, reached a plea bargain with prosecutors last month in which he agreed to confess his guilt over the bribery.

He told the court he regretted having been involved in what he said was a "staged scandal" and apologised, the Slovenian news agency reported.


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