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Indonesian court convicts former beauty queen-turned-ruling party politician of graft

An Indonesian court has convicted a former beauty queen-turned-ruling party politician of graft and sentenced her to 4 1/2 years in jail.

The guilty verdict Thursday against Angelina Sondakh is the latest blow to the Democratic Party of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, whose second and final term in office is ending next year amid widespread disappointment at his efforts to clean up endemic corruption.

Sondakh was convicted of accepting kickbacks of $3.6 million from a company commissioned to build accommodation for athletes for the 2011 Southeast Asian Games. A former sports minister, another Yudhoyono party member, is awaiting trial on charges related to the scam.

Sondakh, who won Miss Indonesia in 2001, has denied any wrongdoing. She said she was considering appealing the court's decision.

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