Greece jails ex-minister over wealth

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A GREEK court has sentenced a former defence minister to eight years in prison for failing to disclose the source of lavish wealth that made him a symbol of the corruption that has plagued the country.

Once a powerful Socialist politician who almost became prime minister in the 1990s, Akis Tsohatzopoulos has been in jail pending trial since April last year as prosecutors investigated allegations of fraudulently acquired wealth.

In the highest-profile conviction of a politician in decades, the Athens appeal court yesterday found his income statements between 2006 and 2009 were false and he failed to declare a neo-classical mansion at the foot of the ancient Acropolis when he bought it in 2009.

Greek politicians are required under law to declare the origin of their wealth.

Tsohatzopoulos faces a further trial on charges of money laundering and using offshore companies to buy the mansion.