A Vienna court on Friday sentenced a flamboyant, jet-setting former Austrian finance minister to eight years in prison in the country’s biggest corruption trial since World War II.
r was found guilty of abuse of power and involvement in kickbacks totaling 9.6 million euros ($11.7 million) over the sale of state-owned apartments.
During the trial, a co-defendant — who was also best man at Grasser’s wedding — admitted passing on insider information enabling a consortium to buy 60,000 government-owned flats for 961 million euros, one million euros more than a rival bidder.
Just three years later, the consortium valued the apartments at about double the price.
Grasser, who as finance minister had decided to sell the flats and knew of the bids, and his co-defendants received kickbacks totalling 9.6 million euros.
“Only Grasser could have passed on information” to the winning consortium, judge Marion Hohenecker said.