A Moldovan court has sentenced former Prime Minister Vlad Filat to nine years in prison on charges of taking bribes and influence trafficking.

A district court in Chisinau sentenced Filat on Monday and ruled that his assets, including real estate, vehicles and shares should be confiscated. The sentence can be appealed.

Filat denies wrongdoing and says the case is politically motivated.

The sentence on Monday is connected to alleged bribes he gave businessman and mayor Ilan Shor.

Shor was arrested on June 24 on suspicion of money laundering connected to the disappearance of $1 billion from three Moldovan banks in 2014.

Filat, who was prime minister from 2009 to 2013, was arrested in October in a separate case which has not gone to trial.