Europe

Polish court issues sentences in wiretapping scandal

FILE In this May 16, 2016,file photo Radek Sikorski, a former Polish foreign ministers, speaks to The Associated Press in Warsaw, Poland, on Monday May 16, 2016. Sikorski was among several former Polish leaders whose conversations were illegally recorded in Warsaw restaurant in 2003 and 2004, prompting a scandal that cost him and others their jobs. In Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016  a Polish court sentenced a Polish businessman to 2 1/2 years of prison for planning the wiretapping. Two waiters also got lesser sentences in the case and one waiter was fined. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

FILE In this May 16, 2016,file photo Radek Sikorski, a former Polish foreign ministers, speaks to The Associated Press in Warsaw, Poland, on Monday May 16, 2016. Sikorski was among several former Polish leaders whose conversations were illegally recorded in Warsaw restaurant in 2003 and 2004, prompting a scandal that cost him and others their jobs. In Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016 a Polish court sentenced a Polish businessman to 2 1/2 years of prison for planning the wiretapping. Two waiters also got lesser sentences in the case and one waiter was fined. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

A Polish court has sentenced a businessman and two waiters convicted in the illegal wiretapping of top Polish politicians in Warsaw restaurants to prison terms.

The court set a prison sentence of 2½ years to Marek Falenta, the businessman convicted of masterminding the wiretapping, and lesser sentences to two waiters involved. A third waiter must pay a fine.

The release of those tapes sparked a political scandal in 2014 that contributed to the loss of power last year of Civic Platform, the centrist party that governed Poland for eight years.

The recordings caught top members of the government of former Prime Minister Donald Tusk, now the head of the European Council, using crude language or making rough assessments of foreign allies. It led to the resignation of several senior officials.