January 15, 2013
Austrian ex-MEP Ernst Strasser jailed for bribe-taking
The conservative Austrian People's Party MP, was exposed by reporters from the UK's Sunday Times, who secretly filmed him while posing as lobbyists.
They showed him being offered a 100,000-euro (£81,000; $130,000) annual payment in exchange for influencing EU legislation in the European Parliament.
Strasser, 56, denied any wrongdoing.
He said he had guessed that the "lobbyists" were fake, but had played along with the ruse in order to find out what was actually motivating the pair, who dined with him before the Sunday Times expose in March 2011.
Presiding Judge Georg Olschak said he did not believe Strasser's defence that he thought the journalists were US secret agents whom the politician had wanted to expose.
"That is probably one of the most outlandish things I have heard in my 20-year career," said Judge Olschak.
"You won't find a single court in Austria to believe that argument."