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Former German Interior Minister Convicted

Germany's former Interior Minister has been convicted of embezzlement, but given only a suspended 18-month prison sentence and a fine for his role in an illegal party funding scandal.

The state court in Wiesbaden Monday ordered Manfred Kanther to pay more than $32,000 in fines.

Mr. Kanther admitted to helping transfer some $13 million in party funds from the opposition Christian Democratic Party into Swiss bank accounts in the 1980s to avoid financial reporting. The money was allegedly used to fund election campaigns.

Former Chancellor Helmut Kohl triggered the scandal in 1999 when he admitted accepting about $1.2 million in cash from donors he refused to identify. However, Mr. Kohl has vehemently denied that the donations had influenced decisions during his 16 years in office.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP, Reuters.