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Former well-known Czech politician receives prison term for bribery, public contracts fraud

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PRAGUE — A Prague court has convicted a former prominent member of the ruling Social Democrats of corruption and sentenced him to eight and a half years in prison in a high profile trial.

Judge Robert Pacovsky of the Central Bohemia's regional court said Thursday that David Rath had accepted bribes and was responsible for manipulating public contract bids linked to funding from the European Union.

Rath was arrested in 2012 after accepting a bribe of $282,000 when he was the head of a regional government and also served as a lawmaker in the lower house of parliament. Previously, he also served as the country's health minister. He has since quit all public posts.

Rath pleaded not guilty and said he would appeal.

Ten other people were also sentenced in this case.

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